Draft #1: The Ecology Tropical Epiphytes: Some Adaptations and....

This topic submitted by Wendy J. Baker ( wjbaker@delta.edu) at 12:53 PM on 3/4/05.

Grunts are abundant at Molasses Reef, Key Largo, Florida.

Tropical Field Courses -Western Program-Miami University

This discussion topic will focus on basic ecological principles utilizing information and research on complex plant-plant interactions and animal-plant interactions. Naturally, all of ecology is important (my unbiased point of view!), but more specifically, it is vital to understand that nothing in nature is as simple as one or two parameters especially when making decisions regarding conservation. We must grapple with complex interactions and realize that no single variable can be isolated from the rest without taking it out of context. So, I suppose I'll be be looking at teaching some ecology, features of epiphyte interactions, a little about neotropical birds and then some thoughts on conservation. Hopefully to spur thoughts on conservation as well.


The Ecology of Tropical Epiphytes: Some Adaptations and Interactions to Neotropical Birds

I. Introduction

II. Tropical Epiphytes
A. What is an Epiphyte?
B. Vascular Epiphytes
C. Non-vascular Epiphytes
D. Epiphytes of the Tropics, Occurance and Distribution

III. The Epiphyte Community
A. Forest Stratification
B. Nutrient Capture
C. Plant Interactions

IV. Tropical Birds
A. Generalists and Specialists
B. Bird Dependence on Epiphytes
C. Foraging, Cover, and Nest Sites

V. Epiphyte Dependence on Birds
A. Pollination
B. Seed Dispersal

VI. Conservation
A. Threats to the Epiphyte Community
B. Threats to associated Bird species
C. What can be done?

Current Resource List:

Hietz, Peter, 1999. Diversity and Conservation of Epiphytes in a Changing Environment. Conference Presentation, International Conference on Biodiversity and Bioresources: Conservation and Utilization, 23-27 November 1997, Phuket, Thailand. Http://www.iupac.org/symposia/proceedings/phuket97/hietz.html.

Marcy, N. 2004. Avifauna at Cloudbridge. Ian Giddy, http://cloudbridge.org/avifauna.htm

Nadkarni, N. M. and Matelson, T.J. 1989. Bird Use of Epiphyte Resources in Neotropical Trees. The Condor 91:891-907.

Ornelas J.F., Gonzalez C., Jimenez L., Lara C., and Martinez A.J. 2004. Reproductive Ecology of Distylous Palicourea Padifolia (Rubiaceae) in a Tropical Montane Cloud Forest. II. Attracting and Rewarding Mutualistic and Antagonistic Visitors. American Journal of Botany 91(7): 1061-1069.

Sillett, T. S. 1994. Foraging Ecology of Epiphyte-Searching Insectivorous Birds in Costa Rica. The Condor 96: 863-877.

Yumoto, T. 2000. Bird-Pollination of three Durio Species (Bombacaeae) in a Tropical Rainforest in Sarawak, Malaysia. American Journal of Botany 87(8):

Zotz, G. and Hietz, P. 2001. The Physiological Ecology of Vascular Epiphytes: Current Knowledge, Open Questions. Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol 52, No.
364, pp. 2067-2078.

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