|Changes in microbial populations from eastern woodrat caches
|Year of Publication
|Post, DM, Urban, JE
Change in microbial populations on three plant foods commonly stored over winter by eastern woodrats (Neotoma floridana) was assessed. It was expected that dogwood fruits (Cornus drummondii) would be affected by microbes to a greater degree than ash seed (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) or redbud seed (Cercis canadensis). Results revealed a change in microbial populations over time but dogwood fruit was no more liable to microbial infestation than seeds. One bacterial species was found in high number on all three food types while three species were found on only two of the three foods. Microbial populations from all three test items increased from November to January but March populations were not different from November populations. It is suggested that climatic factors help to control microbial populations on cache foods.