Navigation Links
Thieving rodents: Did they save tropical trees?
Date:7/17/2012

Big seeds produced by tropical trees such as black palms were probably once ingested and then left whole by huge mammals called gomphotheres.

Gomphotheres weighed more than a ton and dispersed the seeds over large distances.

But these Neotropical creatures disappeared more than 10,000 years ago. So why aren't large-seeded plants also extinct?

A paper published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) suggests that rodents may have taken over the seed-dispersal role of gomphotheres.

"The question has been: how did a tree like the black palm manage to survive for 10,000 years, if its seed-dispersers are extinct?" asks Roland Kays, co-author of the paper and a zoologist at North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

"This research solves a long standing puzzle in ecology," says Alan Tessier, program director in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Environmental Biology, which funded the research.

"How did plant species that seem to be dependent on Pleistocene megafauna for seed-dispersal survive the extinction of that megafauna?"

Now, says Kays, scientists may have an answer.

By attaching tiny radio transmitters to more than 400 seeds, Patrick Jansen, a scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and Wageningen University and colleagues found that 85 percent of the seeds were buried in caches by agoutis, common rodents in tropical lowlands.

Agoutis carry seeds around in their mouths and bury them for times when food is scarce.

Radio-tracking revealed a surprising finding: when the rodents dig up the seeds, they usually don't eat them, but instead move them to a new site and bury them, often many times.

One seed in the study was moved 36 times.

Researchers used remote cameras to catch the animals digging up cached seeds. They discovered t
'/>"/>

Contact: Cheryl Dybas
cdybas@nsf.gov
703-292-7734
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Have thieving rodents saved tropical trees?
2. Rodent robbers good for tropical trees
3. Native plant restoration not enough to maintain tropical dry forests in Hawaii
4. The absence of elephants and rhinoceroses reduces biodiversity in tropical forests
5. Palms reveal the significance of climate change for tropical biodiversity
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Thieving rodents: Did they save tropical trees?
(Date:9/18/2014)... spoken language is unique to humans. "The genetic changes ... human evolution to make this possible are largely unknown, ... have," says Wolfgang Enard, Professor of Anthropology and Human ... molecular biological basis of language Enard has now taken ... study, undertaken in collaboration with scientists at several universities, ...
(Date:9/18/2014)... Va.Sept. 18, 2014Many Americans across racial and ethnic ... greatest impact on their day-to-day life, more so ... hearing and speech (57% of African-Americans, 49% of ... Hispanics). When asked which disease or ailment is ... ranked first among African-Americans followed by AIDS/HIV. ...
(Date:9/18/2014)... cycles of carbon and nitrogen comprise all spheres ... environmental systems have caused imbalances and perturbations that ... (GHGs). Increased GHGs result in climate changes which ... oceans and the atmosphere. Understanding these feedback mechanisms ... of environmental science during the past three decades. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Language evolution: Quicker on the uptake 2Language evolution: Quicker on the uptake 3Americans rate losing eyesight as having greatest impact on their lives 2Americans rate losing eyesight as having greatest impact on their lives 3Greenhouse gas research enters a new era 2
... who can,t tolerate the side effects of cholesterol-lowering drugs ... study by researchers from the Intermountain Heart Institute at ... found that pitavastatin, a newer cholesterol-lowering drug, may reduce ... in up to 68 percent of patients with high ...
... amount of nitrogen into urban watersheds, diminishing both ... many studies documenting the impacts of nitrogen on ... of leaky sewer systemsuntil now., Aging sewer systems ... urban watersheds, diminishing both the quality of water ...
... journals will join John Wiley & Sons, Inc., a ... technical, medical, and scholarly research; professional development; and education, ... Wiley from other publishers or self-publication, and 14 new ... joining Wiley represent relationships with over 30 societies and ...
Cached Biology News:Researchers find alternative cholesterol-lowering drug for patients who can't tolerate statins 2Pittsburgh's leaky faucet: How aging sewers are impacting urban watersheds 266 titles join Wiley's journal portfolio in 2013 2
(Date:9/19/2014)... , September 19, 2014 ... 53rd European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) Meeting  ... science and medical research in the field of growth  ... KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany , today announced ... (GGI) for 2014. The awards were announced during a ...
(Date:9/18/2014)... , Sept. 18, 2014 About POCT ... is performed outside a clinical laboratory. It helps ... administrating appropriate treatments and medication. POCT is gaining ... of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, ... POCT devices are standardized to minimize errors during ...
(Date:9/18/2014)... 18, 2014 ... ) has announced the addition of ... Strategic Business Report" report to ... report analyzes the worldwide markets for ... the following Product Segments: Polymeric Materials, ...
(Date:9/18/2014)... 2014 Research and Markets ... N-acetylcysteine Industry Report 2014" report to their ... Report 2014 is a professional and in-depth study ... industry. The report provides a basic ... and industry chain structure. The N-acetylcysteine market analysis ...
Breaking Biology Technology:EMD Serono Awards Grant for Growth Innovation (GGI) for the First Time 2EMD Serono Awards Grant for Growth Innovation (GGI) for the First Time 3POCT Market in China 2014-2018 2Biocompatible Materials - Global Strategic Business Report 2014 2Biocompatible Materials - Global Strategic Business Report 2014 3Global N-acetylcysteine Industry Report 2014 2
... Aug. 30, 2011 Farmers in North Carolina will ... a partnership by Perdue AgriBusiness and Winston-Salem-based Technology Crops ... the crop looks identical to canola, but the oil ... applications, especially industrial uses.  Grown in trials in North ...
... Aug. 30, 2011 Amnis Corporation, a manufacturer of advanced ... acquired by EMD Millipore, the Life Science division of Merck ... and closing is expected to take place in the fourth ... disclosed. Amnis generated sales of USD 14 ...
... SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 30, 2011 ProteinSimple today introduced ... Simple Western.  The Simple Western is a complete reinvention of ... protein research.  For the first time in 30 years, researchers ... analysis. The Western Blot was invented in ...
Cached Biology Technology:Perdue AgriBusiness and TCI Collaborate to Bring Profitable New Crop to North Carolina 2Perdue AgriBusiness and TCI Collaborate to Bring Profitable New Crop to North Carolina 3Perdue AgriBusiness and TCI Collaborate to Bring Profitable New Crop to North Carolina 4Amnis Acquired by EMD Millipore - Expands Growth Potential 2Amnis Acquired by EMD Millipore - Expands Growth Potential 3ProteinSimple Reinvents the Western Blot 2
... This book is unique in that ... techniques currently used in the diagnosis ... virus-specific antibodies and clinical virus isolates. ... blotting and hybridization procedures, PCR for ...
...
... PCR Purification Kits provide rapid and efficient ... PCR products, and salts from PCR products ... provides two Binding Buffer options for ... can be performed in either single column ...
... TOPO PCR Cloning Kit offers the ... (>=95%) cloning of blunt-end PCR products ... kit includes the linearized and topoisomerase ... bench-top ligations without ligase (1). The ...
Biology Products: