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Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås (2017)

The use of camera traps to identify seed removal agents in an East African savanna

Haugen, Rikard Olai

Titre : The use of camera traps to identify seed removal agents in an East African savanna

Auteur : Haugen, Rikard Olai

Université de soutenance : Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås

Grade : Master thesis 2017

Résumé
Camera traps are commonly used to capture vertebrate activity, but remote video recording of invertebrates may now be possible due to new technology. Video motion detection (VMD) technology can be used to record large invertebrates, but has not been tested on small invertebrates. Here, I investigated the ability of camera traps using VMD to record and distinguish seed removal agents on and off active termite mounds in the savanna in Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda. I observed eight different seeds, one each from eight species (5 native species and 3 crops) with removals replaced daily for 30 days during the dry season in five savanna and five mound habitats. Ants and vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) were recorded removing seeds. Larger seeds were less likely to be removed than smaller seeds. Removal rates were higher during day than during night, likely due to the diurnal activity of vervets, and many smaller seeds being removed by an unknown nocturnal seed remover. Absence of termites from the viewed recordings on mounds substantiates the claim that termites do not eat or remove seeds. The camera failed in recording invertebrates below a certain size, but ants were sometimes recorded because of moving shade triggering the recording, while vertebrates and larger invertebrates triggered the camera consistently. With improvements, this method is viable for recording small invertebrates with VMD technology.

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Page publiée le 10 février 2018