Selective predation on Protea neriifolia (Proteaceae) seeds by small mammals

  • D.C. Le Maitre
  • S.A. Botha


The ability of small mammals to select Protea neriifolia seeds containing embryos (full seeds) was examined. Full and empty seeds were glued to wooden boards and placed at three sites in young fynbos. Small mammals were able to select and remove significantly more full seeds than expected. Seed removal rates varied between the study sites but this was not related to the density of small mammals trapped at those sites. Selective feeding greatly increases the feeding efficiency of small mammals because 90% or more of the seed dispersed after fires may be empty.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-073X
print ISSN: 1562-7020