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Fleshy fruit is consumed by many wildlife species and is a critical component of forest ecosystems. Because fruit production may change quickly during forest succession, frequent monitoring of fruit biomass may be needed to better understand shifts in wildlife habitat quality.
Yet, designing a fruit sampling protocol that is executable on a frequent basis may be difficult, and knowledge of accuracy within monitoring protocols is lacking. We evaluated the accuracy and efficiency of 3 methods to estimate understory fruit biomass Fruit Count, Stem Density, and Plant Coverage. The Fruit Count method requires visual counts of fruit to estimate fruit biomass. The Stem Density method uses counts of all stems of fruit producing species to estimate fruit biomass.
The Plant Coverage method uses land coverage of fruit producing species to estimate fruit biomass. Using linear regression models under a censored-normal distribution, we determined the Fruit Count and Stem Density methods could accurately estimate fruit biomass; however, when comparing AIC values between models, the Fruit Count method was the superior method for estimating fruit biomass.
After determining that Fruit Count was the superior method to accurately estimate fruit biomass, we conducted additional analyses to determine the sampling intensity i. The Fruit Count method accurately estimated fruit biomass at a 0. In some cases, sampling 0. In these cases, we suggest sampling understory fruit production with the Fruit Count method at the greatest feasible sampling intensity, which could be valuable to assess annual fluctuations in fruit production.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Because plant regeneration is strongly dependent upon seed dissemination, many plants have adapted fruits with edible and nutritive fleshy pulps to encourage consumption by animals for seed dispersal . Seeds of some fruit-bearing flora have adapted mechanisms to avoid damage from digestive enzymes and may even require scarification for germination .
Concomitantly, mammals, birds, and reptiles have adapted dietary niches to consume fleshy fruits also referred to as soft mast; hereafter fruit as a primary or supplementary energy source  , leading to a dynamic relationship between seed dispersers and respective fruit-bearing flora .
Measuring fruit biomass may be important for evaluating a variety of research questions. For example, estimating fruit biomass may be useful to evaluate mechanisms regulating animal populations, particularly frugivores .
Also, fruit biomass may explain variations in animal behavior and could be used to evaluate the potential effects of forests silvicultural practices on fruit consumers, plant dissemination, plant regeneration, and conservation of plant communities .
When used to address research hypotheses, accurate estimates of fruit biomass will be needed. Furthermore, an accurate and practical method for estimating fruit production may be necessary for land managers to monitor fruiting responses to management regimes because fruit abundance may change rapidly with disturbance and forest succession  — .
A variety of protocols to monitor fruit production have been developed, with the majority focusing on estimating fruit biomass in the forest canopy  — . Visual estimations and fruit traps commonly are used to evaluate fruit biomass in the overstory  ,  — . However, Parrado-Rosselli et al.
Plant coverage and visual estimations have been used to monitor understory fruit production  ,  ,  , . Some studies estimated understory fruit availability in terms of percent land cover of fruit-producing plants  ,  , but plant cover may not be a reliable measure of fruit production . Though visual estimation or collection of fruits has been used to measure understory fruit availability in many studies, the reported protocols were inconsistent  ,  ,  , .
The problems with current methods are two-fold: 1 protocols are not standardized; and 2 little is known about the relative accuracy and time efficiency of each.
Accuracy and feasibility contribute equally to the adequacy of the methods used to quantify fruit biomass. Therefore, a comparative evaluation of both the accuracy and practicality among protocols is needed. We compared 3 methods of estimating understory fruit availability. Our study was designed to test each method in 3 measures of utility listed in order of importance:. No animals were handled in this study. No permits were required for the described study, which complied with all relevant regulations.
Dominant understory fruit producing plant species included blueberries Vaccinium spp. Fort Bragg was managed by the United States Department of Defense under a 3-yr fire-return interval, with prescribed burning primarily during the growing season. Timber was managed on a year rotation for longleaf pine and a year rotation for other pines  , .
We systematically centered 7 different sampling plots on each transect Figure 1. Plot A comprised the entire area along the transect, 1 m wide and 25 m long. Within Plot A, 3 Plots B 3-m 2 each were placed at 5,Plot A representing entire m 2 sampling area and Plots B 3 m 2 and C 0. Note: Plots A, B, and C in the diagram are not drawn to scale for ease of display. We counted fruits, stems, and coverage of blackberries, huckleberries, blueberries, and gallberries.
We chose these genera based on plant fruiting phenology, wide occurrence across the temperate zone, high wildlife food value, and frequent occurrence at Fort Bragg . We used methods outlined in Jackson et al. Jackson et al. We modified the protocol by shortening the transects from 50 m to 25 m, decreasing width from 2 m to 1 m, and counted fruits rather than collecting fruits, which decreased our time commitment per plot.
We modified the methods used by Jackson et al. Furthermore, the purpose of our proposed Fruit Count method was to evaluate whether a more time efficient visual count of fruit could accurately estimate the actual fruit biomass present. We counted fruits within 0. Observers counted fruits at a walking pace with minimal pause for counting to reduce time per transect.
Therefore, fruit counts are not absolute counts but the best estimate of the number of fruits present. We used methods outlined in previous literature to guide the stem count protocol  ,  , .
These include 3 systematically located 3-m 2 plots along a m transect. Originally, the Stem Count method was designed to measure diet selection in herbivores, so we modified the method by counting only fruit producing plants. We counted stems of fruit producers only within Plot B Figure 1. The plot size of plot B was chosen because larger plots may inflate observer error and result in an unreasonable time commitment per plot. We used methods outlined in Daubenmire  to guide the plant coverage protocol.
Daubenmire  used a 0. The original method was designed to sample ground cover, but we modified the method to measure cover of fruit bearing species. We estimated plant coverage of fruit producers within Plot C Figure 1.
We only assessed plant coverage in Plot C because plot sizes greater than 0. The same 2 observers were used for all plots to reduce bias. After counts from all three methods were recorded, we collected all fruits within Plot A i. We kept fruits from each respective plot type separate, which yielded 7 bags e.
The absolute fruit biomass total fruits in plot A was the sum of all bags collected. The fruits were not collected as part of the protocol for the three methods; rather, they only were collected so we could compare the accuracy of each method in estimating the actual biomass present.
We used each method to estimate absolute fruit biomass for the respective sampled area e. We used fruit biomass as the response variable rather than fruit count, but the same results should be expected with either metric see Greenberg et al. Likewise, fruit biomass and fruit count would have yielded identical results in our study because fruit weights were all 0. We chose a continuous distribution of responses and analyzed absolute fruit biomass under the assumption of normality.
Initially, we ran a simple correlation to determine if fruit counts, stem density, and Daubenmire scores were correlated to fruit biomass. Then, to determine if a method could predict fruit biomass, we estimated each model using the QLIM qualitative and limited dependent variable model procedure, which is the appropriate SAS procedure to perform with censored distributions for a continuous response variable .
We used a censored normal distribution for the response Y fruit biomass. This means fruit biomass in an area of forest follows a normal distribution but is censored at 0, so fruit biomass cannot be less than 0. The assumption of normality was verified by looking at histograms for each measurement method. The AIC is based on the concept of information entropy, in effect offering a relative measure of the information lost when a given model is used to describe reality.
Burnham and Anderson  recommended using AICc, rather than AIC, if n is small or k the number of parameters in the model is large because it gives more penalty to small sample sizes and additional parameters.
We used a Bonferroni correction to control the overall Type 1 error rate. We did not test sampling intensity of Stem Count or Plant Coverage methods because the Fruit Count method was the superior measurement method based on results of the accuracy test described above. We showed Plant Coverage was not a viable method of estimating understory fruit biomass, likely because of variations in fruit production annually and among individual plant or plant species .
Although the Stem Density method could be flawed for the same reason, Stem Density may have shown more promise because it takes into account the number of fruit producing plant stems rather than the coverage of fruit producing plants. Conversely, the Fruit Count method worked better than the other 2 methods because fruiting phenology, genetics, and environmental influences on an individual plant's fruit production do not inflate error when estimating fruit availability.
Although the Fruit Count method is affected by spatio-temporal variability in fruit biomass, increasing sampling intensity can improve the precision of estimates.
Because sampling at least 0. For instance, Fort Bragg includes about 42, forested ha. To accurately estimate fruit production for the entire site, sampling would have to cover ha, which is not practical.
However, where fruit availability is more homogeneous, smaller portions of the landscape may be sampled to accurately estimate fruit biomass, which may be more practical particularly if a set amount of time is allotted per transect .
Additionally, the use of permanent transects to sample yearly may allow managers to monitor relative rather than absolute fruit biomass; this strategy would allow managers to track the direction of change in fruit production following management prescriptions using lower sampling intensity, though sampling would still be required yearly unless habitat characteristics remained similar. Finally, sampling efforts could be framed on a smaller scale e. Researchers and practitioners must consider their objectives to determine whether estimating fruit biomass is necessary.
For example, if an experiment was designed to evaluate the effects of silvicultural treatments on fruit production, estimating fruit abundance may be useful to address the hypotheses. However, in many cases researchers and practitioners may be able to effectively address questions or monitor management practices by measuring relative changes in fruit production rather than estimating actual fruit biomass. Furthermore, only presence or absence data over multiple years may be sufficient to guide timber harvest recommendations in some cases .
For example, Lashley et al. In any case, we recommend the Fruit Count method over other methods to monitor understory fruit biomass because the estimates from this method are more robust to variations in fruit densities and the method requires relatively less time to conduct surveys.
Fruits are an important component in the diets of many wildlife species. Monitoring shifts in fruit biomass is important to ensure fruit production is maintained when managing plant communities for wildlife.
The soil on our property on the outskirts of Kyneton is very sandy and is low in many nutrients required for optimal plant growth. In October , we conducted a soil test in our orchard. The soil tests were taken at ten sites across the paddock, each one to a […]. Households can produce large amounts of organic waste. Composting can be a great way to reduce your household contribution to landfill and create a useful product for your garden.
Because plant regeneration is strongly dependent upon seed dissemination, many plants have adapted fruits with edible and nutritive fleshy pulps.
How to grow new fruit trees from seed
Labels: pruning. Posted by Caro atNow there's a title that's been trotted out more than once in blogland, I'll wager. I don't need to tell you this is Honeysuckle, do I? In the winter months, while waiting for the garden to wake up, there's something really special about the scent of flowers on the breeze or in the still of an evening. It's there to attract pollinators and is particularly helpful to bumblebees who start to wake up in January and need to stock up their food reserves. I've been thinking about scent in the garden since being asked to advise on a bare patch of earth destined to become a front garden. The client is a florist who wants her garden to be welcoming and uplifting whether viewed from the street or indoors.
When you prune you get the very best out of your tree. As simple as that. A fruit tree that towers over your head is a […]. Such wonderful synchronicity, as the vegie patch slows down we need to spend some time with our fruit trees.
Fruit trees have become a popular choice for backyard gardens in recent years.
One of the benefits of living on an acreage is having room for livestock. Although considered domestic animals, working with livestock carries with it an inherent risk of danger. National data shows livestock, machinery and falls are the dominant sources of occupational injury on farms. In fact, studies show that up to one-third of injuries on the farm are associated with livestock. People tend to give animals human qualities and forget that animals quickly revert to primal reflex reactions when they are threatened or under stress. Animals will fiercely defend their food, shelter, territory, and young.
Orchard in tiger ga
Mount Vernon, WA. Industry professionals will provide information about production, economics, business plans, risk management and marketing that will provide assistance to both the veteran and the aspiring cider maker. The goal of this workshop is to help maximize cidery business performance. Classes will include: 'Cidery Investment and…. Tips and techniques to get your new fruit tree started off in a strong and healthy direction for a long and fruitful life. Taught by horticulturist and edible landscape specialist, Ingela Wanerstrand.
A vegetable planting guide for the North East region of Victoria. with the expertise of passionate local gardeners, to help your veggie patch flourish!
Right now I'd normally be shopping for seed, compost and whatever else I might need for the growing season ahead. Not this year though - I'm gardening for free - so this'll be my first without buying in stock. On the one hand, this is really rather liberating because I know I either have, or can make enough, of everything essential that I need anyway. But at this somewhat dismal time of year with much less activity in the garden, I find my desire to seek out new varieties of fruit and vegetable seed is still firmly in place.
Angelita L. Acebes-Doria, Tracy C. Leskey, J. Our tree census in woodlands bordering 15 Mid-Atlantic apple orchards revealed 47 species of deciduous trees and shrubs,Tree of heaven was most common and abundant overall.
The apple Malus domestica [Suckow] Borkh.
O ne of the more common questions I get at this time of year when everything is dormant is when, and how, to prune various fruiting plants, like peaches, blackberries, figs and blueberries. In general, January and February is an ideal time train and trim most of our orchard fruits. Each type of fruit is trained and maintained differently, and so it is helpful to know some general guidelines for what you are growing. Fig trees can get a lot taller and wider than anticipated. Selective thinning can reduce height without pushing out vigorous growth.
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