Food for Thought: Ecological Consequences of Personality in Small Mammals

Dr. Alessio Mortelliti

Date: June 11, 2020
Time: 3 pm (s.t.)
Place: zoom. Please register by sending an email to

Small mammals play a critical role in forest ecosystems by predating and dispersing seeds. I will present the results of a series of large-scale field experiments showing how the personality of individual small mammals affects all stages of seed dispersal, from the choice of seeds to how distant and where seeds are cached. I will also show how forest management practices shift the distribution of personalities within a population, by increasing the proportion of bold, active, and anxious individuals and in-turn affecting the potential survival and dispersal of seeds. I will make the point that the personality composition of a population may have cascading effects on ecosystems by modifying the structure and composition of forests.