The Effects of Road Fragmentation on Seed Herbivory
Anthropogenic activities such as edging, fragmentation, and road construction and maintenance have a profound effect on ecological systems. Specifically, fragmentation can disrupt food webs by disrupting the feeding behaviours of seed and egg predators and reducing nearby plant diversity. The reduction in plant richness has caused the abundance and diversity of herbivores near roads to also decline. On average, animals that are sensitive to disturbances have a lower herbivory rate near fragmented areas. Therefore, this study will analyze the effects of road fragmentation by measuring the rate of seed herbivory between areas near and far from a road. It is hypothesized that if herbivory is negatively affected by fragmentation, then we will observe more seed herbivory in plots that are further from the road than near the road. A ratio (%) of the number of seeds missing to the original number of seeds placed was measured. The statistical test performed was a 2-way ANOVA test which resulted in a p-value of 0.00001, so the results are significant. Thus, road fragmentation does have an affect on seed herbivory.