Pondberry (Lindera melissifolia) seed predators
Pondberry is an endangered, dioecious, deciduous shrub that grows in periodically flooded forests of the southeastern United States of America. Pondbeny is a clonal plant. Each female stem grows up to two meters tall and may produce many red drupes. The probability of dispersed seeds to survive to germination and beyond is unknown in the species. For this study, six locations were chosen in or near the Delta National Forest, Sharkey County, MS, USA. At each location, a one-meter-square plot was established and cleared of forest floor material. Inside the larger plot, a 3O-cm square was defined and 25 pondberry seeds were arranged on the soil surface. Video cameras with infrared illumination were set up to monitor animal visitors to the seed plots. Each camera was attached to a video recorder and the batteries and videotape for the camera were exchanged twice weekly and the pondberry seeds were recounted. The animals identified as possible pondberry seed predators were the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis),Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma nifum), Swamp Rabbit (Sylvilagus sp.), Nine-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcintus) and Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis).