, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 71–81 | Cite as

Differential seed predation on two species of Arctostaphylos (Ericaceae)

  • Jon E. Keeley
  • Robert L. Hays


The fire-prone California chaparral contains two sympatric species of shrubs: Arctostaphylos glauca and A. glandulosa. A previous study showed that in a stand where both species had similar amounts of coverage, A. glauca had fewer seeds in the soil. We attempt to answer the questions: 1) Could ground-foraging seed predators produce the lower population of A. glauca seeds in the soil? 2) Do predators select fruits randomly with respect to fruit size? 3) Do the fruits of the two species differ in the proportions of fruit components (i.e. seeds, endocarp, mesocarp, and exocarp) in ways that could be important to seed predators? Predation was measured on artificial caches of fruits, for 17 weeks. Selection by predators was examined by comparing weights of fruits recovered from soil samples with newlymatured fruits on the shrubs. Fruits components were characterized by dividing fruits into 3 fractions and weighing. More fruits of A. glauca were removed from the caches. Fruits of both species recovered from the soil were lighter than those on the shrubs. The weights of seeds, stony and fleshy fruit layers were all larger in A. glauca. Within fruits of A. glandulosa, the weights of the three components, various combinations, and ratios were all significantly correlated, while in A. glauca no other component, combination of components, or ratio examined was significantly correlated with the weights of the seeds.


Soil Sample Similar Amount Lower Population Seed Predator Fruit Size 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jon E. Keeley
    • 1
  • Robert L. Hays
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologySan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA

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