Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Ilex Canariensis Poir. (Aquifoliaceae) Post-dispersal Seed Predation in the Canary Islands

  • 94 Accesses

  • 10 Citations

Abstract

Alien species have many negative effects on insular ecosystems worldwide. We investigated Ilex canariensis post-dispersal seed predation by introduced rats (Rattus spp.) in relict forests of the Canary Islands at different spatial scales: among microhabitats within the same forest, among forest types within the same island, and among different islands of the archipelago. Seed predation intensity was very high (>70%) in all cases considered, irrespective of the spatial scale. We did not find significant differences between forest interior, edges or gaps, as well as between different forest types in four islands of the archipelago. Comparatively low predation intensity was found in El Hierro island, where more than 50% of the seeds survived at the end of the experiment, while highest seed predation was observed in Tenerife island. It is concluded that post-dispersal seed predation by rats, due to its extent and intensity, could have an important effect on Ilex canariensis recruitment, especially in successional areas where this light tolerant tree can naturally establish.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Aguilera F, Brito A, Castilla C, Díaz A, Fernández-Palacios JM, Rodríguez A, Sabaté F, Sánchez J (1993) Canarias, economía, ecología y medio ambiente. Francisco Lemus Editor, La Laguna.

  2. Andersen AN (1989) How important is seed predation to recruitment in stable populations of long-lived perennials? Oecologia 81:310–315

  3. Arévalo JR, Fernández-Palacios JM, Palmer MW (1999) Tree regeneration and future dynamics of laurel forest on Tenerife, Canary Islands. J Veg Sci 10:861–868

  4. Arévalo JR, Fernández-Palacios JM (2003) Spatial patterns of trees and juveniles in a laurel forest of Tenerife, Canary Islands. Plant Ecol 165:1–10

  5. Arrieta S, Suárez F (2005) Spatial dynamics of Ilex aquifolium populations seed dispersal and seed bank: understanding the first steps of regeneration. Plant Ecol 177: 237–248

  6. Asquith NM, Wright JS, Clauss MJ (1997) Does mammal community composition control recruitment in neotropical forests? Evidence from Panama. Ecology 78:941–946

  7. Bañares A, Barquín E (1982) Árboles y arbustos de la laurisilva Gomera (Parque Nacional de Garajonay). Editorial Goya, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

  8. Beckage B, Clark JS (2005) Does predation contribute to tree diversity? Oecologia 143:458–469

  9. Bertram DF, Nagorsen DW (1995) Introduced rats, Rattus spp., on the Queen Charlotte Islands: implications for seabird conservation. Can Field Nat 109:6–10

  10. Brown KP, Moller H, Innes J, Jansen P (1998) Identifying predators at nests of small birds in a New Zealand forest. Ibis 140:274–279

  11. Burns KC (2004) Relationships between the demography and distribution on two Birddispersed plants in an island archipelago. Journal of Biogeogr 31:1935–1943

  12. Campbell DJ, Atkinson IAE (2002) Depression of tree recruitment by the Pacific rat (Rattus exulans Peale) on New Zealand’s northern offshore islands. Biol Conserv 107:19–35

  13. Carlquist S (1973) Island biology. Columbia University Press, New York

  14. Clark JS, Beckage B, Camill P, Cleveland B, HilleRisLambers J, Lichter J, McLachlan J, Mohan J, Wyckoff P (1999) Interpreting recruitment limitation in forests. Am J Bot 86:1–16

  15. Contreras MJ (1988) Seguimiento de los micromamíferos del Parque Nacional de Garajonay, La Gomera. Resultados: noviembre 1987-noviembre 1988. La Laguna. Unpublished report. 10 pp

  16. Curran LM, Webb CO (2000) Experimental test of the spatiotemporal scale of seed predation in mast-fruiting dispterocarpaceae. Ecol Monogr 70:129–148

  17. Delgado JD (2000) Selection and treatment of fleshy fruits by the ship rat (Rattus rattus L.) in the Canarian laurel forest. Mammalia 64:11–18

  18. Delgado JD (2002) Interaction between introduced rats and a frugivore bird-plant system in a relict island forest. J Nat Hist 36:1247–1258

  19. Delgado JD, Arévalo JR, Fernández-Palacios JM (2001) Road and topography effects on invasions: edge effects in rat foraging patterns in two oceanic island forests (Tenerife, Canary Island). Ecography 24:539–546

  20. Delgado JD, Arévalo JR, Fernández-Palacios JM (2005) Patterns of artificial avian nest predation by introduced rats in a fragmented laurel forest (Tenerife, Canary Islands). J␣Nat Hist 38:2661–2669

  21. DeMattia EA, Rathcke DJ, Curran LM, Aguilar R, Vargas O (2006) Effects of small rodent and large mammal exclusion on seedling recuitment in Costa Rica. Biotropica 38:196–202

  22. Eriksson O, Ehrlén J (1992) Seed and microsite limitation of recruitment in plant populations. Oecologia 91:360–364

  23. Fernández-Palacios JM, Arévalo JR (1998) Regeneration strategies of tree species in the laurel forest of Tenerife (the Canary Islands). Plant Ecol 137:21–29

  24. García D, Obeso JR, Martínez I (2005) Rodent seed predation promotes differential recruitment among bird-dispersed trees in temperate secondary forests. Oecologia 144:435–446

  25. Gómez González LA, Fernández AB (2003) Defoliación y consumo de frutos producidos por la rata (Rattus rattus) en árboles y arbustos de la laurisilva del Parque Nacional de Garajonay (La Gomera, Islas Canarias, España). In: Rodríguez Luengo JL (ed) Control de Vertebrados Invasores en Islas de España y Portugal. Consejería de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación Territorial del Gobierno de Canarias, pp 117–124.

  26. Hernández MA, Martín A, Nogales M (1999) Breeding success and predation on artificial nests of the endemic Bolle’s laurel pigeon Columbia bollii and Whitetailed laurel pigeon Columba junoniae in the laurel forest of Tenerife (Canary Islands). Ibis 141:52–59

  27. Hernández MA, Martín A (2003) Efecto de Rattus rattus sobre las palomas turqué (Columba bollii) y rabiche (C. junoniae): una experiencia de desratización en Tenerife. In: Rodríguez Luengo JL (ed) Control de Vertebrados Invasores en Islas de España y Portugal. Consejería de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación Territorial del Gobierno de Canarias, pp 24–34

  28. Herrera CM, Jordano P, López-Soria L, Amat J (1994) Recruitment of a mast-fruiting, bird-dispersed tree: bridging frugivory activity and seedling establishment. Ecol Monogr 64:315–334

  29. Hulme PE (1998) Post-dispersal seed predation: consequences for plant demography and evolution. Perspect Plant Ecol Evol Syst 1:32–46

  30. Hulme PE, Benkman CW (2002) Granivory. In: Herrera CM, Pellmyr O (eds) Plant–animal interactions. An evolutionary approach. Blackwell Publishing, pp 132–154

  31. Igual JM, Forero MG, Gómez T, Orueta JF, Oro D (2006) Rat control and breeding performance in Cory’s shearwater (Calonectris diomedea): effects of poisoning effort and habitat features. Anim Conserv 9:59–65

  32. Kollmann J, Buschor M (2002) Edge effects on seed predation by rodents in deciduous forests of northern Switzerland. Plant Ecol 164:249–261

  33. Manson RH, Ostfeld RS, Canham CD (1998) The effects of tree seed and seedling density on predation rates by rodents in old fields. Ecoscience 5:183–190

  34. Martín A, Hernández MA, Lorenzo JA, Nogales M, González C (2000) Las palomas endémicas de Canarias. Gobierno de Canarias, SEO/Birdlife

  35. Martin JL, Thibault JC, Bretagnolle V (2000) Black rats, islands characteristics and colonial nesting birds in the Mediterranean: consequences of ancient introduction. Conserv Biol 14:1452–1466

  36. Meiners SJ, LoGiudice K (2003) Temporal consistency in the spatial patterns of seed predation across a forest-old field edge. Plant Ecol 168:45–55

  37. Michaux J, López-Martínez N, Hernández-Pacheco JL (1996) The dating of Canariomys bravoi, the extinct giant rat from Tenerife (Canary Islands) and the recent history of the endemic species in the archipielago. Vie et Milieu 46:261–266

  38. Nogales M. Hernández EC, Valdés F (1999) Seed dispersal by common ravens Corvus corax among island habitats. Ecoscience 6:56–61

  39. Palmer M, Pons GX (2001) Predicting rat presence on small islands. Ecography 24:121–126

  40. Pedhazur EJ (1997) Multiple regression in behavioral research, 3rd edn. Harcourt Brace

  41. Penloup A, Martin JL, Gory G, Brunstein D, Bretagnolle V (1997) Distribution and breeding success of pallid swifts, Apus pallidus, on Mediterranean islands: nest predation by the roof rat, Rattus rattus, and nest site quality. Oikos 80:78–88

  42. Quinn GP, Keough ML (2002) Experimental design and data analysis for biologists. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

  43. Robinet O, Craig JL, Chardonnet L (1998) Impact of rat species in Ouvea and Lifou (Loyalty islands) and their consequences for conserving the endangered Ouvea Parakeet. Biol Conserv 86:222–232

  44. Salvande M, Mulet M, Gómez González LA (2001) Predación de semillas de gibalbera (Semele androgyna) por roedores en la Laurisilva canaria. Resúmenes V Jornadas de la Sociedad Española para la Conservación y Estudio de los Mamíferos (SECEM), Vitoria.

  45. Salvande M, Gómez González LA, Fernández López AB (2003) Consumo de semillas de acebiño (Ilex canariensis) por la rata (Rattus rattus) en distintos hábitats del monteverde en el Parque Nacional de Garajonay (La Gomera, Islas Canarias, España). In: Rodríguez Luengo, JL (ed) Control de Vertebrados Invasores en Islas de España y Portugal. Consejería de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación Territorial del Gobierno de Canarias, pp 111–116

  46. Santos A (1990) Bosques de laurisilva de la región macaronésica. Colección Naturaleza y Medio Ambiente no. 49. Council of Europe, Estrasburg

  47. Schmid E (1976) The laurisilva of El Hierro. In: Kunkel G (ed) Biogeography and ecology in the Canary Islands. Dr. W. Junk., pp 241–266

  48. Schupp EW (1988) Seed and early seedling predation in the forest understory and in treefall gaps. Oikos 51:71–78

  49. Thibault JC, Martin JL, Penloup A, Meyer JY (2002) Understanding the decline and extinction of monarchs (Aves) in Polynesian Islands. Biol Conserv 108:161–174

  50. Thorsen M, Shorten R, Lucking R, Lucking V (2000) Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) on Fregate island, Seychelles: the invasion, subsequent eradication attempts and implications for the island’s fauna. Biol Conserv 96:133–138

  51. Towns DR (1996) Changes in habitat use by the lizards on a New Zealand island following removal of the introduced Pacific rat Rattus rattus. Pac Biol Conserv 2:286–292

  52. Vitousek PM, Loope LL, Andersen H (eds.) (1995) Islands. Biological diversity and ecosystem function. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp. 238

Download references

Acknowledgements

All the staff at Garajonay National Park, and especially Jacinto Leralta and Ángel B. Fernández López (Director of Garajonay National Park), provided great help and wise comments during fieldwork. José Guitián kindly revised early versions of the manuscript. KC Burns and an anonymous reviewer made valuable suggestions. MS stay at the Canary Islands was funded by a predoctoral grant (AP97-33299901) from the Spanish Ministerio de Educación y Cultura.

Author information

Correspondence to Miguel Salvande.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Salvande, M., Mulet, M. & Gómez González, L.A. Ilex Canariensis Poir. (Aquifoliaceae) Post-dispersal Seed Predation in the Canary Islands. Plant Ecol 187, 143 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11258-006-9139-y

Download citation

Keywords

  • Insular ecosystem
  • Laurel forest
  • Post-dispersal seed predation
  • Rats