Rodent granivory strengthens relationships between seed size and plant abundance in a desert annual community


The seed size/number trade‐off model explains the co‐existence of plants that produce different‐sized seeds by assuming an establishment fitness advantage for larger seeds via enhanced competition or environmental tolerance, and a colonization fitness advantage for smaller seeds. The model predicts a negative relationship between seed mass and plant abundance among co‐existing species in a community. Here, we evaluate the hypothesis that rodent granivory affects the slope of this relationship, causing it to become less negative when granivore pressure is reduced because rodents selectively harvest large seeds.

Journal of Vegetation Science