Seeds, Squirrels, and Students: how human disturbance can affect rates of seed consumption
Mira Brese Holifield, Catherine G. Landry, Juliana Marie Vollmer
Seed consumption by animals is an important source of energy in the food web, as well as a mechanism used by plants for dispersal. The goal of this study was to look at seed consumption by animals in the Dayton area such as birds and squirrels and see if the consumption is affected by human disturbance. The two different areas we focused on differed in the amount of daily human activity. The two locations were the Environmental Research Area and around the University of Dayton campus. The Environmental Research Area (ERA) was considered to be low-traffic, while the University of Dayton campus had high traffic. We selected five locations at each site and placed trays with a set number of sunflower seeds. Every couple days we counted the remaining seeds in the trays and then refilled them to determine the rate of seed consumption. Our preliminary results find that there is a general difference in rate of seed consumption between the high traffic and low traffic areas. Greater implications of these findings suggest that human activity can affect where local animals source their food.
Kathleen A. Kargl, Chelse M. Prather
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Life on Land
"Seeds, Squirrels, and Students: how human disturbance can affect rates of seed consumption" (2022). Stander Symposium Projects. 2417.