Postdispersal Seed Fate of Tropical Montane Trees in an Agricultural Landscape, Southern Costa Rica
This study seeks to understand postdispersal seed fate in Montane Costa Rica in order to better identify factors driving forest regeneration.
Research Goals & Methods
Seed survival was tested in 4 replicates of three habitat types in montane Costa Rica: abandoned pasture (3 years since abandonment), secondary forest (8 years since abandonment), and fragments of primary forest. Seeds of 7 native species were placed along three 50m transects at each site. Some seeds had strings attached and some planted under wire-mesh rodent exclosures to test for germination.
Conclusions & Takeaways
Seed survival was around 65%. After 12 weeks, the proportion of surviving seeds was significantly higher in secondary forest rather than abandoned pasture and primary forest. Rodent predation was lower in the human-altered landscapes than in the primary forest fragments. The authors suggest that a lack of seed dispersal may be a more important barrier to natural regeneration than predation.
Postdispersal Seed Fate of Tropical Montane Trees in an Agricultural Landscape, Southern Costa Rica. Biotropica. 2009;41:319–327. doi:10.1111/j.1744-7429.2009.00490.x..
- Environmental Studies Department, University of California-Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, U.S.A.