Hello all, see below for the reading about donkeys.
I. If the aim was to assess the role of “donkeys” on populations of mesquite, then I think that their conclusion was unfounded based on their data and other examples.
II. Outcomes of interspecific interactions are often difficult to measure, especially if one or both of the organisms is long-lived. Often times, we will see that the outcomes change depending on life-stage. What does this mean for our understanding of interactions?
III. This study was a moderately-good experimental design. Nonetheless, their data was conflicting. What is the ideal way to handle such results?
IV. In their discussion, the authors claim that “donkeys” consume about 28% of mesquite in the study area. If investigating community interactions, how do we go about justify making conclusions about such one of many different interactions that makes up a small proportion of seed set (total seed produced)?
A couple questions I have about dispersal in general:
V. How do patterns of seed dispersal change across biomes (e.g. rainforests vs. deserts vs. coniferous forest)? What are the potential consequences of being reliant on an animal disperser in a species poor vs. species rich environment (referring to both plant and animal richness)?
VI. What are the advantages and disadvantages to being primarily dispersed by an active disperser that selects cache sites (like a chipmunk) vs. being dispersed by a passive disperser that does not select cache sites (like a donkey walking around). What are the long term consequences of disperser type (active or passive) on spatial patterning of plants (random, clumped, uniform, etc.).
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UNR Plant-Animal Interactions Graduate Reading Group
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