Class Year

2015

Date

3-26-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Distinguished Thesis

Yes

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department or Program

Biology

First Advisor

Lynn C. Westley

Second Advisor

Sean B. Menke

Third Advisor

Glenn Adelson

Abstract

Ocotea floribunda (Lauraceae) is a Neotropical, bird-dispersed, canopy tree species commonly found in Monteverde, Costa Rica. The post-dispersal fate of seeds was studied to determine how regurgitation by avian frugivores and microhabitat characteristics affect seed removal through a Giving-Up Density (GUD) experiment. The fate of removed seeds was assessed through a concurrent seed-tagging experiment. An on-site camera trap revealed that agoutis (Dasyprocta punctata) remove regurgitated seeds O. floribunda in the open site. Microhabitat characteristics and seed treatment had no significant effect on seed removal rates. Regurgitated seeds were buried in the seed-tagging experiment. Seed infestation rates were assessed following the termination of both experiments, which revealed that arthropods infest more than two-thirds of all regurgitated seeds. If, like O. endresiana, O. floribunda seeds do not successfully germinate when buried (Wenny 2000), agoutis could be detrimental to restoration efforts in Monteverde that focus on Lauraceous species.


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