Skip to Main Content
Cone consumption by southeastern fox squirrels: A potential basis for clonal preferences in a loblolly and slash pine seed orchardAuthor(s): Christopher Asaro; Susan C. Loeb; James L. Hanula
Source: Forest Ecology and Management 186: 185-195
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: Download Publication (672 KB)
DescriptionSoutheastern fox squirrels were observed feeding preferentially on seeds of certain clones of loblolly pine in a central Georgia seed orchard in the early 1990s and, similarly, on slash pine seed in an orchard in central Florida in the late 1990s. In each orchard, the degree of feeding preference and avoidance among selected clones was documented and quantified. We tested three hypotheses to explain this phenomenon: (1) seeds of preferred clones have greater nutritional quality or energy content; (2) cone armature differed between preferred and avoided clones; or (3) preferred clones have lower quantities of deterrent compounds present in cone tissue. Hypothesis i was tested using cones collected from threc preferred and two avoided clones within a loblolly pine seed orchard. We found no consistent differences in total number of seeds per cone, viable seeds per cone, seed weight per cone, average weight per seed, energy content per seed. and energy content per cone between preferred and avoided cones. Hypotheses 2 and 3 were tested using cones collected from four preferred and four avoided clones within a slash pine seed orchard. We found a strong positive association between spine length and cone avoidance. Avoided cones had significantly higher concentrations of myrcene, α-phellandrene, β-phellandrene, β-caryophyllene, and α-humulene but lower concentrations of α-pinene. These physical and chemical cone defenses may increase handling time or reduce seed palatability and therefore act as significant dcterrents to seed predation by fox squirrels when preferred feeding options are readily available, such as in a seed orchard.
- You may send email to email@example.com 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.
CitationAsaro, Christopher; Loeb, Susan C.; Hanula, James L. 2003. Cone consumption by southeastern fox squirrels: A potential basis for clonal preferences in a loblolly and slash pine seed orchard. Forest Ecology and Management 186: 185-195
KeywordsSciurus niger, Pinus taeda, Pinus elliotii, seed quality, physical defense, chemical defense, terpenes, sesquiterpenes
- (3Z,6Z,9Z,12Z,15Z)-Pentacosapentane and (9Z, 11E)-Tetradecadienyl Acetate: Attractant Lure Blend for Dioryctria ebeli (Lepidopterea: Pyralidae)
- Volatiles associated with preferred and nonpreferred hosts of the nantucket pine tip moth, Rhyacionia frustrana
- Nonlethal Thrips Damage to Slash Pine Flowers Reduces Seed Yields
XML: View XML