Date Thesis Awarded

4-2016

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)

Department

Biology

Advisor

Harmony Dalgleish

Committee Member

Randolph Chambers

Committee Member

Doug DeBerry

Committee Member

Gul Ozyegin

Abstract

The aim of this project was to determine whether the eastern gray squirrel is a directed disperser of the northern red oak. Under directed dispersal, animals preferentially move seeds to microsites with characteristics that favor seedling establishment. Squirrel-chosen cache sites were located by providing squirrels with tagged red oak acorns. We then collected data on a suite of microsite characteristics at squirrel-chosen sites and at randomly-chosen sites. We observed that squirrel chosen sites are drier, have less wood debris cover around them, and are closer to trees than at random sites. There were no differences between cache and random sites with regards to canopy cover, or the cover of leaves/needles, herbaceous plants, or woody plants near the sites. We then planted fresh red oak, white oak, and chestnut seeds at cache and random sites. These sites will be reexamined in the spring in order to compare rates of emergence at squirrel-chosen and random sites.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Available for download on Thursday, May 10, 2018

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