You are here:
Differential Consumption of Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) by Avian and Mammalian Guilds: Implications for Tree Invasion
Horncastle, V. J., E. C. Hellgren, P. M. Mayer*, D. M. Engle, AND D. Leslie. Differential Consumption of Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) by Avian and Mammalian Guilds: Implications for Tree Invasion. W.E. Evans (ed.), AMERICAN MIDLAND NATURALIST. University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, 152(2):255-267, (2004).
to publish information
Increased abundance of eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginianus), a native but invasive species in the Great Plains, has been associated with changes in ecosystem functioning and landscape cover. Knowledge of the main consumers and dispersal agents of eastern redcedar fruits is essential to understanding the invasive spread of the species. We examined frugivory of cedar cones in tallgrass prairie, cross-timbers, and eastern redcedar habitats using three different exclosure treatments during autumn and winter. Loss of cones from branches varied by a habitat-time interaction. Loss of cones from containers located under experimental trees varied by a habitat-treatment-time interaction. In December and January, cone consumption from containers was highest in cross timbers, followed by tallgrass prairie and eastern cedar habitats. Overall, birds consumed the majority of cones from branches and small- and medium-sized mammals consumed cones on the ground. Both birds and mammals likely contribute to the spread of eastern redcedar but at different scales. Birds are probably
spreading eastern redcedar on a large scale (>10 ha), whereas small mammals spread eastern redcedar on a small scale (<1 ha). Limiting eastern redcedar invasion in forests may require early detection and selective removal of pioneer seedlings in cross-timbers and other habitats that attract a high diversity or density of frugivores.