Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Larger nuts end up further from tree

14.02.2003


The acouchy is the most important disperser of nuts in the rainforest of French Guyana


Cameras were one of the devices used by biologists from Wageningen to study nut dispersal


Trees are better off if they produce large nuts. This is revealed in research by Patrick Jansen from Wageningen University. Scatterhoarding rodents appear to prefer burying larger nuts for later. The bigger the nut, the further it is buried from the tree and the more frequently it is forgotten.

Biologist Patrick Jansen investigated what happened to nuts as soon as they fell on the ground of the rainforest in French Guyana. He placed thousands of nuts on the ground in the forest. Each nut was marked with a numbered fluorescent thread. Using video cameras he observed which animals removed the nuts. He then traced the nuts using the threads sticking out of the ground and followed them until they were either eaten or grew into a seedling.

He found that the vast majority of nuts were taken by acouchies, large guinea-pig-like rodents, which are active during the day. These animals mostly use the nuts for their food store. Each nut is buried separately at a different location in the forest soil.



The rodents were found to be fussy. Larger nuts have a far greater chance of being successfully dispersed than smaller ones, as they are buried more frequently and further away. Sometimes they are buried as far as 100 metres away from the tree. The rodents often forget such nuts and therefore these can successfully germinate.

The scientist concluded, partly on the basis of other aspects of his research, that nut-producing trees may have evolved due to the fussiness of the hoarding animals. Trees which produce large nuts obtain many offspring. Over the course of time the number of trees producing large nuts increases and the number producing small nuts decreases.

According to the biologist, protecting animals in managed forests is important for tree regeneration. That has hardly happened up until now. For example, once logging has taken place the tracks for this are used by hunters who are after rodents and other important seed dispersers.

Nalinie Moerlie | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nwo.nl

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The body's street sweepers
18.12.2017 | Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

nachricht Life on the edge prepares plants for climate change
18.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Error-free into the Quantum Computer Age

A study carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.

In order to reach their full potential, today’s quantum computer prototypes have to meet specific criteria: First, they have to be made bigger, which means...

Im Focus: Search for planets with Carmenes successful

German and Spanish researchers plan, build and use modern spectrograph

Since 2016, German and Spanish researchers, among them scientists from the University of Göttingen, have been hunting for exoplanets with the “Carmenes”...

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

The body's street sweepers

18.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Fast flowing heat in layered material heterostructures

18.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

Life on the edge prepares plants for climate change

18.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>