Rodent seed hoarding and regeneration of Aesculus turbinata: patterns, processes and implications

  • Kazuhiko Hoshizaki


Tree regeneration is often limited by seed abundance, herbivore activities, and microhabitat suitability (Crawley 2000). In montaneous riparian habitats, tree seedling establishment often depends on particular microhabitats associated with the disturbance regime (e.g. gravel debris and mineral soil exposure, Sakio 1997; Kubo et al. 2000; Masaki et al. 2007). However, the Japanese horsechestnut, Aesculus turbinata Blume (Hippocastanaceae) is a tree species that is common in montane riparian forests but does not appear to have particular requirements for establishment. The reproductive traits of this species are characterized by conspicuously large inflorescences and extremely large seeds (21g in fresh weight and 6.2 g in dry weight). In general, large seeds provide a greater chance of seedling establishment through persistence under shade and resistance to disease (Westoby et al. 1992).


Seed Dispersal Riparian Forest Large Seed Source Tree Seed Shadow 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Augspurger CK, Kitajima K (1992) Experimental studies of seedling recruitment from contrasting seed distributions. Ecology 73:1270–1284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Clark JS, Fastie C, Hurtt G, Jackson ST, Johnson C, King GA, Lewis M, Lynch J, Pacala S, Prentice C, Schupp EW, Webb T, Wyckoff P (1998) Reid’s paradox of rapid plant migration: dispersal theory and interpretation of paleoecological records. BioScience 48:13–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Crawley MJ (2000) Seed predators and plant population dynamics. In: Fenner M (ed) Seeds: The Ecology of Regeneration in Plant Communities, 2nd Edn. CAB International, Wallingford, UK, pp 167–182Google Scholar
  4. Crawley MJ, Long CR (1995) Alternate bearing, predator satiation and seedling recruitment in Quercus robur L. J Ecol 83:683–696CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Forget PM (1990) Seed-dispersal of Vouacapoua americana (Caesalpiniaceae) by caviomorph rodents in French Guiana. J Trop Ecol 6:459–468Google Scholar
  6. Forget PM (1992) Regeneration ecology of Eperua grandiflora (Caesalpiniaceae), a large seeded tree in French Guiana. Biotropica 24:146–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Goto S, Hayashida M (2002) Seed dispersal by rodents and seedling establishment of walnut trees (Juglans ailanthifolia) in a riparian forest. J Jpn For Soc 84:1–8 (in Japanese with English summary)Google Scholar
  8. Hanzawa FM, Beattie AJ, Culver DC (1988) Directed dispersal: demographic analysis of an ant-seed mutualism. Am Nat 131:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Harms KE, Dalling JW (1997) Damage and herbivory tolerance through resprouting as an advantage of large seed size in tropical trees and lianas. J Trop Ecol 13:617–621Google Scholar
  10. Higgins SI, Nathan R, Cain ML (2003) Are long-distance dispersal events in plants usually caused by nonstandard means of dispersal? Ecology 84:1945–1956CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hoshizaki K (1999) Regeneration dynamics of a sub-dominant tree Aesculus turbinata in a beech-dominated forest: Interactions between large-seeded tree guild and seed/seedling consumer guild. D Thes Kyoto Univ, KyotoGoogle Scholar
  12. Hoshizaki K, Hulme PE (2002) Mast seeding and predator-mediated indirect interactions in a forest community: evidence from post-dispersal fate of rodent-generated caches. In: Levey DJ, Silva WR, Galetti M (eds) Seed Dispersal and Frugivory: Ecology, Evolution and Conservation. CAB International, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK., pp 227–239Google Scholar
  13. Hoshizaki K, Miguchi H (2005) Influence of forest composition on tree seed predation and rodent responses: a comparison of monodominant and mixed temperate forests in Japan. In: Forget PM, Lambert JE, Hulme PE, Vander Wall SB (eds) Seed Fate: Predation, Dispersal and Seedling Establishment. CAB International, Wallingford, UK, pp 253–267Google Scholar
  14. Hoshizaki K, Suzuki W, Nakashizuka T (1999) Evaluation of secondary dispersal in a large-seeded tree Aesculus turbinata: a test of directed dispersal. Plant Ecol 144:167–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hoshizaki K, Suzuki W, Sasaki S (1997) Impacts of secondary seed dispersal and herbivory on seedling survival in Aesculus turbinata. J Veg Sci 8:735–742CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Howe HF, Smallwood J (1982) Ecology of seed dispersal. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 13:201–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hulme PE (1993) Post-dispersal seed predation by small mammals. Symp Zool Soc Lond 65:269–287Google Scholar
  18. Iida S (1996) Quantitative analysis of acorn transportation by rodents using magnetic locator. Vegetatio 124:39–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Isaji H, Sugita H (1997) Removal of fallen Aesculus turbinata seeds by small mammals. Jpn J Ecol 47:121–129 (in Japanese with English summary)Google Scholar
  20. Janzen DH (1970) Herbivores and the number of tree species in tropical forests. Am Nat 104:501–528CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Janzen DH (1971) Seed predation by animals. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 2:465–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jensen TS, Nielsen OF (1986) Rodents as seed dispersers in a heath, — oak wood succession. Oecologia 70:214–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jordano P, Schupp EW (2000) Seed disperser effectiveness: the quantity component and patterns of seed rain for Prunus mahaleb. Ecol Monogr 70:591–615Google Scholar
  24. Kaneko Y, Takada T, Kawano S (1999) Population biology of Aesculus turbinata Blume: A demographic analysis using transition matrices on a natural population along a riparian environment gradient. Plant Species Biol 14:47–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Katsuta M, Mori T, Yokoyama T (1998) Seeds of Woody Plants in Japan — Angiospermae. Japan Forest Tree Breeding Association, Tokyo (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  26. Kubo M, Shimano K, Sakio H, Ohno K (2000) Germination sites and establishment conditions of Cereidiphyllum japonicum seedlings in the riparian forest. J Jpn For Soc 82:349–354 (In Japanese with English summary)Google Scholar
  27. Masaki T, Osumi K, Takahashi K, Hoshizaki K, Matsune K, Suzuki W (2007) Effects of microenvironmental heterogeneity on the seed-to-seedling process and tree coexistence in a riparian forest. Ecol Res 22:724–734CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Miguchi H (1994) Role of wood mice on the regeneration of cool temperate forest. In: Kobayashi S, Nishikawa K, Danilin IM, Matsuzaki T, Abe N, Kamitani T, Nakashizuka T (eds) Proceedings of NAFRO seminar on sustainable forestry and its biological environment. Japan Society of Forest Planning Press, Tokyo, Japan, pp 115–121Google Scholar
  29. Nakashizuka T (1983) Regeneration process of climax beech (Fagus crenata Blume) forests III. Structure and development processes of sapling populations in different aged gaps. Jpn J Ecol 33:409–418Google Scholar
  30. Nakashizuka T, Iida S, Masaki T, Shibata M, Tanaka H (1995) Evaluating increased fitness through dispersal: A comparative study on tree populations in a temperate forest, Japan. Ecoscience 2:245–251Google Scholar
  31. Peres CA, Schiesari LC, Dias-Leme CL (1997) Vertebrate predation of Brazil-nuts (Bertholletia excelsa, Lecythidaceae), an agouti-dispersed Amazonian seed crop: a test of the escape hypothesis. J Trop Ecol 13:69–79Google Scholar
  32. Sakio H (1991) Effects of natural disturbance on the regeneration of riparian forests in a Chichibu Mountains, central Japan. Plant Ecol 132:181–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Schupp EW, Howe HF, Augspurger CK, Levey DJ (1989) Arrival and survival in tropical treefall gaps. Ecology 70:562–564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Seiwa K, Kikuzawa K (1991) Phenology of tree seedlings in relation to seed size. Can J Bot 69:532–538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Shimada T, Saitoh T (2006) Re-evaluation of the relationship between rodent populations and acorn masting: a review from the aspect of nutrients and defensive chemicals in acorns. Popul Ecol 48:341–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Steele MA, Smallwood PD (2002) Acorn dispersal by birds and mammals. In: McShea WJ, Healy WM (eds) Oak Forest Ecosystems: Ecology and Management for Wildlife. Johns Hopkins Univ Press, Baltimore, MD, USA, pp 182–195Google Scholar
  37. Suzuki W, Osumi K, Masaki T, Takahashi K, Daimaru H, Hoshizaki K (2002) Disturbance regimes and community structures of a riparian and an adjacent terrace stand in the Kanumazawa Riparian Research Forest, northern Japan. For Ecol Manage 157:285–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Vander Wall SB (1990) Food hoarding in animals. Univ Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, USAGoogle Scholar
  39. Vander Wall SB (1993) Cache site selection by chipmunks (Tamias spp.) and its influence on the effectiveness of seed dispersal in Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi). Oecologia 96:246–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Vander Wall SB (2001) The evolutionary ecology of nut dispersal. Bot Rev 67:74–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Vander Wall SB, Joyner JW (1998) Recaching of Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi) seeds by yellow pine chipmunks (Tamias amoenus): potential effects on plant reproductive success. Can J Zool 76:154–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wenny DG (2001) Advantages of seed dispersal: a re-evaluation of directed dispersal. Evol Ecol Res 3:51–74Google Scholar
  43. Westoby M, Jurado E, Leishman M (1992) Comparative evolutionary ecology of seed size. Trend Ecol Evol 7:368–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Willson MF (1992) The ecology of seed dispersal. In: Fenner M (ed) Seeds: The ecology of regeneration in plant communities. CABI, Wallingford, UK, pp 61–85Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazuhiko Hoshizaki
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological EnvironmentAkita Prefectural UniversityAkitaJapan

Personalised recommendations