Weed Seed Predation

Animals that eat weed seeds include insects, birds, and mammals. Their contribution to seed removal has been shown to be highly variable, but potentially at rates high enough to reduce weed pressure on farms in the future. As a side project (right now), Randa is learning more about the factors that affect weed seed predation rates in dryland cropping systems in Wyoming. So far, it looks like ants are the most active seed feeders in these environments, although carabid beetles were also found in our 2014 samples.

Randa enjoyed collaborating with the amazing and lovely Sonja Birthisel on her MS work at the University of Maine (along with the wonderful Eric Gallandt, Frank Drummond, and extra patient farmer Mark Guzzi). Through her thesis research, Sonja examined the factors that explain the variation in weed seed predation rates. Learn more about some of our work in this Biological Control publication (Birthisel et al. 2014).


These are our “control” seed assays, preventing animals from accessing seeds but documenting any loss due to wind, water, or other abiotic factors.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s