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Abstract Detail

Tropical Biology Section

Gorchov, David L. [1], Rondon, Xanic J. [2], Cornejo, Fernando [3].

Importance of seed dispersal agents changes over succession in clear-cut strips in the Peruvian Amazon.

The importance of different seed dispersers through succession was assessed in the tree regeneration following the 1989 clear-cutting of two 30x 150m strips in the Peruvian Amazon. We compared the spatial pattern of surviving recruits (> 2m) in 15x15 m plots with that of seeds dispersed into one of the strips during the first two years after clearing. While bats dispersed the majority of seeds into the strips in the first two years, bat-dispersed taxa accounted for only about 20% of early-recruiting trees on each strip that were still alive after 14 years. Most recruits surviving from this early colonization were of taxa dispersed by birds (or birds + non-volant mammals): 52% on Strip 1, 1990; 54% on Strip 2, 1991. Bat dispersal was even less important for recruits that established in later time periods (Strip 1; 2: 6%; 2% for 1992+1993 recruits, 4%; 0% for 2000, and 0%; 4% for 2004/2005 recruits). Bird-dispersal accounted for most recruits that established in the second and third censuses; bird-dispersed trees occurred throughout the strips despite the drastic decline with distance from forest edge in the early seed rain. Among the newest recruits, in strip 1 76% were of species dispersed by non-volant mammals, while in strip 2 bird-dispersed taxa outnumbered mammal-dispersed taxa 2:1. Few 1990/1991 recruits, and very few later recruits, were wind-dispersed. Similar patterns occurred in the deferment-cut portion of strip 2, where 56 subcanopy timber trees were left uncut, except mammal-dispersal was somewhat more important and bird-dispersal less important. These findings indicate that birds and non-volant mammals are the most important seed dispersers of trees that establish and survive following strip-clearing. In order for forest managed by strip-clear-cutting to maintain adequate recruitment of diverse trees, these forests will need viable populations of birds and primates.

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1 - Miami University, Department of Botany, Oxford, Ohio, 45056, USA
2 - Miami University, Botany, Oxford, OH, 45056, USA
3 - Proyecto Castaņales, Puerto Maldonado, Peru

tropical forest
forest management
secondary succession
animal dispersal of seeds.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Session: 15
Location: Alpine A/Snowbird Center
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2009
Time: 10:45 AM
Number: 15003
Abstract ID:136