Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science

Major

Biology

Date of Defense

8-14-2007

Graduate Advisor

Bette A. Loiselle, Ph.D.

Committee

Dr. Patricia Parker

Dr. John Blake

Abstract

This project examined the use of bird perches in facilitating seed dispersal to address the lack of seed dispersal and seed rain in degraded tropical forests. The goal of this project was to learn more about this practice in order to derive more realistic expectations of its effectiveness. After four months, significantly more seeds were dispersed into plots containing introduced perches as compared to subplots that lacked perches. Seed rain was dominated by Ficus citrifolia, a mid-level successional species, indicating that introduced artificial perches may influence the regeneration of more mature forests. Seeds recovered from seed traps represented species with close proximity to the plots. Seeds dispersed beneath perches were correlated positively with those occurring in surrounding forests. There were eight bird species recorded utilizing perches. Bird species found utilizing perches were also positively correlated with those found within surrounding forest. These results suggest that bird perches in tropical forests may have a very local effect in that species dispersed may be limited to those found in close range to perch structures, but that the perches are effective at providing a seed rain of those species.

Share

COinS