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Title: Pre-dispersal seed predator dynamics at the northern limits of limber pine distribution

Author: Peters, Vernon S.;

Date: 2011

Source: In: Keane, Robert E.; Tomback, Diana F.; Murray, Michael P.; Smith, Cyndi M., eds. The future of high-elevation, five-needle white pines in Western North America: Proceedings of the High Five Symposium. 28-30 June 2010; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-63. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 74.

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Limber pine (Pinus flexilis) is listed provincially as endangered in the northern part of its geographic range (Alberta) due to the high mortality caused by white pine blister rust (WPBR) (Cronartium ribicola) and mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae), and limited regeneration opportunities due to fire exclusion. In the case of an endangered species, seed predators may accelerate this decline, particularly when their populations are regulated by more factors than the abundance of the declining species. Red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) are a major cause of pre-dispersal seed loss in many species of conifers. Stands with varying combinations of conifer species that have different reproductive strategies (i.e., masting or persistent aerial seed sources) may experience different amounts of cone predation by squirrels. With no prior studies on cone predation in the northern part of the species' range, we investigated whether: 1) squirrel cone predation differs in areas with low versus high WPBR infection rates, and 2) cone predation differs in limber pine-dominated versus mixedconifer stands containing limber pine.

Keywords: high elevation five-needle pines, threats, whitebark, Pinus albicaulis, limber, Pinus flexilis, southwestern white, Pinus strobiformis, foxtail, Pinus balfouriana, Great Basin bristlecone, Pinus longaeva, Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine, Pinus aristata

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Citation:


Peters, Vernon S. 2011. Pre-dispersal seed predator dynamics at the northern limits of limber pine distribution. In: Keane, Robert E.; Tomback, Diana F.; Murray, Michael P.; Smith, Cyndi M., eds. The future of high-elevation, five-needle white pines in Western North America: Proceedings of the High Five Symposium. 28-30 June 2010; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-63. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 74.

 


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