n African Zoology - Seed removal by ants, birds and rodents in a woodland savanna habitat in Zimbabwe s - : short communications

Volume 35, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
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Seed removal from bait stations was studied in miombo habitat in western Zimbabwe. Previous studies of seed predation in southern Africa have largely been conducted in desert ecosystems. However, this woodland-savanna habitat is more mesic and has relatively predictable rainfall patterns. The experiment was conducted in grassy and woody microhabitats in the hot, dry season and early wet season, and followed a year in which precipitation was 69%of the long-term average. Birds removed the greatest quantity of seeds, followed by ants and then rodents. Previous studies in northern hemisphere mesic environments emphasize the importance of rodents and minor role of invertebrates in seed predation. Although our site appears to have more in common with southern hemisphere desert sites than with northern hemisphere mesic sites, we recognize that our results are likely to reflect a lower limit of consumption by rodents.

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