Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 409500
Title Tri-trophic interactions affect density dependence of seed fate in a tropical forest palm
Author(s) Visser, M.D.; Muller-Landau, H.C.; Wright, J.; Rutten, G.; Jansen, P.A.
Source Ecology Letters 14 (2011)11. - ISSN 1461-023X - p. 1093 - 1100.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01677.x
Department(s) Forest Ecology and Forest Management
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) barro-colorado island - janzen-connell model - rain-forest - species-diversity - neotropical tree - bruchid beetles - plant diversity - parent palm - dispersal - predation
Abstract Natural enemies, especially host-specific enemies, are hypothesised to facilitate the coexistence of plant species by disproportionately inflicting more damage at increasing host abundance. However, few studies have assessed such Janzen–Connell mechanisms on a scale relevant for coexistence and no study has evaluated potential top-down influences on the specialized pests. We quantified seed predation by specialist invertebrates and generalist vertebrates, as well as larval predation on these invertebrates, for the Neotropical palm Attalea butyracea across ten 4-ha plots spanning 20-fold variation in palm density. As palm density increased, seed attack by bruchid beetles increased, whereas seed predation by rodents held constant. But because rodent predation on bruchid larvae increased disproportionately with increasing palm density, bruchid emergence rates and total seed predation by rodents and bruchids combined were both density-independent. Our results demonstrate that top-down effects can limit the potential of host-specific insects to induce negative-density dependence in plant populations.
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