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1 April 2008 Effects of Species, Density, Season and Prairie-type on Post-dispersal Seed Removal in Oklahoma
Jennifer E. Haught, Randall W. Myster
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Because seed fate is important in understanding the dynamics and regeneration of prairies, we set out seed of four common native grass species at three different densities (25/50/100 per dish) in both mixed-grass and tall-grass Oklahoma prairies during spring and fall 2002. Predators removed seeds almost completely with only ∼1.9% of the seeds still present after two weeks in the field. Seed predators preferred little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) the least (4.5% remaining) compared to western wheatgrass (Pascopyron smithii; 1.5%), indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans; 1%) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum; 0.5%). Predators also preferred spring (2.6% vs. 1.3% in the fall) and mixed-grass prairie (3% vs. 0.8% in tall-grass) the least. Consistent with these findings, little bluestem remained more in the spring (7.2%) compared to the fall (1.9%). We conclude: (1) while animals preferred some species over others there was no correspondence between removal levels and seed mass, (2) density of seed made no difference, (3) animals removed more seed in the fall compared to the spring perhaps because more animals and less food sources occur at that time and (4) more seed was removed in tall-grass prairie compared to the mixed-grass prairie where animal density and composition may be reduced.

Jennifer E. Haught and Randall W. Myster "Effects of Species, Density, Season and Prairie-type on Post-dispersal Seed Removal in Oklahoma," The American Midland Naturalist 159(2), 482-488, (1 April 2008).[482:EOSDSA]2.0.CO;2
Received: 16 May 2007; Accepted: 1 September 2007; Published: 1 April 2008

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