Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub

    Description

    The strength of trophic cascades in terrestrial habitats has been the subject of considerable interest and debate. We conducted an 8-year experiment to determine how exclusion of vertebrate predators, ungulates alone (to control for ungulate exclusion from predator exclusion plots) or none of these animals influenced how strongly a three-species assemblage of rodent consumers affected plant productivity. We also examined whether predator exclusion influenced the magnitude of post-dispersal seed predation by mice. Both ungulates and rodents had strong direct effects on graminoid biomass. However, rodent impacts on plant biomass did not differ across plots with or without predators and or ungulates. Deer mice removed more seeds from seed depots on predator exclusion plots, suggesting trait-mediated indirect effects of predators, but this short-term behavioural response did not translate into longer-term impacts on seed survival. These results suggest that vertebrate predators do not fundamentally influence primary production or seed survival in our system.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to rmrspubrequest@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Maron, John L.; Pearson, Dean E. 2011. Vertebrate predators have minimal cascading effects on plant production or seed predation in an intact grassland ecosystem. Ecology Letters. 14: 661-669.

    Keywords

    giving up density, herbivory, indirect effects, predators, seed predation, small mammals, trait-mediated indirect effects, trophic cascade

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page