Predation of fruits and seeds of Crescentia portoricensis by rodents documented by using camera traps
Plants of the Crescentia genus have been reported to be dispersed in some cases by rodents but, there are records of problems with rodents' predation in fruits and seed of Crescentia Alata in Costa Rica´s Santa Rosa National Park. Crescentia portoricensis is an endemic shrub that can be found in evergreen, semi-evergreen and deciduous forests of southwest Puerto Rico. The actual known information of predation and the lack of natural recruitment of Crescentia portorriensis, may support the hypothesis, that introduced rodents like (Rattus rattus)'s predation of its fruits and seeds might be negatively impacting C. portoricensis and this is one of the major problems affecting the natural recruitment of the plant. They present that is possible that the majority of the fruits are eaten before the seed material is fully developed and any seed (embryo) left by rodents might be immature and not able to germinate. To determine seed predation on C. portoricensis, plots establish in each forest. For each of the six populations, two 1m x 50cm plots will be place, one with exclosure treatment and one control (without exclosure). The exclosure treatment is going to be realized by using a wire mesh cage with an aperture of 15 × 17 mm. The control group will not have a wire mesh cage around, which will allow interactions between the seeds and possible predators. To observe predators in the absence of human presence, camera traps will be used (Bushnell brand, AGGRESSOR RED-GLOW models). These will be place in proximity (50 to 70cm) to the exclosure and the control plots during 24 hours. Direct interaction between rodents and the fruit were capture during the study,we conclude that introduced rodents are having a negative effect in the reproductive life of C. portoricensis .