Faculty Research & Creative Activity

Document Type


Publication Date

January 1997


Selective predation on the seeds of woody plants. J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 124: 67-70). 1997.-Seed predation may be an important factor influencing the structure of successional plant communities. We used a cafeteria-style experiment, placed in an old field and an early successional forest, to determine predator preferences for seeds of nine species of woody plants. Intensity of seed predation was equivalent in both sites. Seed predators preferred Acer saccharum, flex vertic illata, and Viburnum dentatum, but this was not related to seed mass. Predation intensity was more variable in the old field than in the forest, possibly related to the higher ground-layer heterogeneity of the old field site. We conclude that predator choice will allow some species to escape seed predation, potentially altering future plant community composition.