Data from: Productivity and related soil properties mediate the population-level consequences of rodent seed predation on Blanketflower, Gaillardia aristata
Hegstad, Ryan J., University of Montana
Maron, John L., University of Montana
Published Jun 13, 2019 on Dryad.
Cite this dataset
Hegstad, Ryan J.; Maron, John L. (2019). Data from: Productivity and related soil properties mediate the population-level consequences of rodent seed predation on Blanketflower, Gaillardia aristata [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.f62bq54
1. Plants are frequently attacked by consumers that reduce seed numbers. However, our ability to predict whether seed loss results in parallel changes in future recruitment or plant abundance remains poor. Progress in this area requires simultaneously understanding: 1) how spatial variation in environmental conditions influence recruitment and other demographic rates, and 2) how the magnitude of seed loss varies spatially and relative to seed limitation.
2. We experimentally assessed how post-dispersal seed predation by deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) influenced recruitment of the native perennial forb, Gaillardia aristata, in western Montana (USA) grasslands. To explore whether seed limitation and the population-level consequences of seed predation varied predictably based on environmental conditions, we added seeds to plots where mice had access or were excluded at sites occurring over a strong gradient of soil characteristics and plant community productivity. We also quantified whether components of Gaillardia demography varied in ways that may compensate for or exacerbate the population-level effects of seed predation across this environmental gradient.
3. Across two replicate years, recruitment was highest at low productivity/soil nutrient sites and decreased toward the opposite end of the gradient. Post-dispersal seed predation strongly reduced Gaillardia recruitment in both years, and the impacts of seed predation on recruitment were greater at sites with lower productivity and fewer soil nutrients and decreased towards the opposite end of the gradient. Growth and fecundity varied among populations in ways that could buffer Gaillardia populations from stronger effects of seed predation, whereas survival varied among populations in a way that may intensify these effects.
4. Synthesis- Together, these results show that post-dispersal seed predation can importantly limit plant recruitment and that the magnitude of these effects were predicted by variation in underlying environmental conditions that influence recruitment and other key demographic rates.
Total nitrogen, Organic matter (OM), and Phosphorus levels by site
Ammonium and Nitrate levels by site
Biomass by site, split by functional groups: G= Graminoids; F=Forbs; L=Litter. Bag=weight of bag; Net=Biomass-weight of bag
Recruitment in 2016 and 2017 from seed additions in 2015. All recruits are seedlings from the year observed. Observations in the same year (2017) are not summative (i.e. seedlings were all recounted in June 2017 to include late recruits and any early deaths).
Recruitment from 2016 seed additions in 2017. Plots with the same "Plot_ID" were paired. May and June recruits are not summative(i.e. all seedlings were recounted in June to account for late germination or early death).
Flower head width and seed number in that flower head
Demography data of Gaillardia aristata. Each row refers to an individual plant. NA means not applicable.