Regeneration Surveys
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 2:58PM
[chuck] in Peru, Science, seedling establishment, sustainable harvesting

Once you know how many seeds a tree produces, it's worth the effort to find out what happens to them.  How many germinate?  How many are eaten? How many germinate and are then smashed by a falling branch? And where is the safest place for a seed to land?  Under the parent tree where there is a lot of competition or  dispersed away from the parent? All of these questions are directed toward developing a better understanding of how a particular species maintains itself in the forest.

Regeneration surveys provide the data to answer these questions.  In this picture, Umberto Pacaya is counting Spondias mombin fruits in marked plots positioned at varying distances from the parent tree.  Main findings: a lot of the fruit are eaten, a great number of them float away with the rising floodwater, many young seeedlings get smashed, uprooted, or defoliated, you can count the number of seedlings/hectare that get established each year on one hand. [NOTE: Ecological studies of Spondias mombin where conducted in a tract of varzea forest along the Ucayali River in Peru in collaboration with IIAP; Umberto loved using the click counter].

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