Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

1-5-2014 9:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 10:00 AM

Project Type

Poster

Description

Tropical deforestation is occurring at an alarming rate throughout our world today. It is critical that we actively try to restore these landscapes because rainforests provide us with important resources and services. However, it can be difficult to set appropriate goals for restoration. Under which conditions is a landscape the healthiest? For example, fertilizer is often used to increase growth and survivorship of tree seedlings; however, adding fertilizer may alter other aspects of the community, such as herbivory. In the context of a tropical forest restoration experiment, we asked 1) does fertilization influence herbivory; 2) does fertilization alter leaf tissue nutrients? We cleared sixteen plots within a monoculture of non-native bamboo and planted sixteen native trees per plot. Fertilizer was added to half of the plots. We predict leaf tissues of trees in plots treated with fertilizer would have higher nutrient content than in an unfertilized plot. We also predicted that higher nutrients would lead to increased herbivory. We compared the extent and intensity of herbivory between 16 species and between wet and dry seasons. Our results show that in the wet season, herbivores preferred certain tree species. Additionally, trees in fertilized plots experienced higher herbivore intensity, possibly due to increased plant nutrient content. Fertilizer affected the intensity of herbivory, but not extent. In the dry season, fertilizer did not affect leaf nutrient content or herbivory intensity on focal species. These results indicate that fertilizer influences species interactions in the early stages of rainforest restoration.

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Biology Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Natural Sciences

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

191

Included in

Biology Commons

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May 1st, 9:00 AM May 1st, 10:00 AM

Does fertilization influence herbivory during tropical forest restoration?

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Tropical deforestation is occurring at an alarming rate throughout our world today. It is critical that we actively try to restore these landscapes because rainforests provide us with important resources and services. However, it can be difficult to set appropriate goals for restoration. Under which conditions is a landscape the healthiest? For example, fertilizer is often used to increase growth and survivorship of tree seedlings; however, adding fertilizer may alter other aspects of the community, such as herbivory. In the context of a tropical forest restoration experiment, we asked 1) does fertilization influence herbivory; 2) does fertilization alter leaf tissue nutrients? We cleared sixteen plots within a monoculture of non-native bamboo and planted sixteen native trees per plot. Fertilizer was added to half of the plots. We predict leaf tissues of trees in plots treated with fertilizer would have higher nutrient content than in an unfertilized plot. We also predicted that higher nutrients would lead to increased herbivory. We compared the extent and intensity of herbivory between 16 species and between wet and dry seasons. Our results show that in the wet season, herbivores preferred certain tree species. Additionally, trees in fertilized plots experienced higher herbivore intensity, possibly due to increased plant nutrient content. Fertilizer affected the intensity of herbivory, but not extent. In the dry season, fertilizer did not affect leaf nutrient content or herbivory intensity on focal species. These results indicate that fertilizer influences species interactions in the early stages of rainforest restoration.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/152