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Abstract Detail

Tropical Biology Section

Paul, Gillian [1], Montagnini, Florencia [2], Berlyn, Graeme [3], Craven, Dylan [2], VanBreugel, Michiel [4], Hall, Jefferson [4].

Comparisons of foliar herbivory and leaf defenses among native tree species in a young plantation of Central Panama.

This study examined the foliar herbivory on tree saplings planted in abandoned pasture on a seasonally dry lowland site of the Panamanian Canal Zone. Plots (15 x 15 trees) of Anacardium excelsum, Dalbergia retusa, Pachira quinata, Tabebuia rosea, and Terminalia amazonia were tested for herbivory using leaf counts and digital image analysis. Values of foliar carbon, foliar nitrogen, specific leaf area (SLA), and leaf toughness were collected to explain mechanical and chemical defenses of these species. Overall, less than 10% of total leaf area within the plots was found to be damaged by arthropods. Significant (P < 0.001) differences in herbivory were found among tree species and arthropod feeding guilds: chewing, skeletonizing, mining, and leaf-rolling. On mature leaves, Anacardium excelsum had the highest amount of leaf damage while Dalbergia retusa exhibited the lowest herbivore damage. Tabebuia rosea had significantly high damage on expanding leaves caused by leaf-rolling insects. Unlike the trends predicted in the hypotheses, herbivory was negatively correlated with foliar nitrogen and SLA and positively correlated with leaf toughness. Results from this study suggest that consideration of species and defense mechanisms can improve the viability of native species restoration projects early in forest plantation establishment.

Broader Impacts:

In the Republic of Panama, timber plantations provide an economic incentive for landowners to engage in forest restoration on abandoned pasture and agricultural land. Native tree plantations offer ecological benefits of forest restoration for organisms that depend on resources such as fruit, nectar, and habitat structure provided by native tree species. In Panama and Latin America as a whole, detailed literature is available for forest managers to learn about the stand management and pest control practices for exotic monocultures of Tectona, Eucalyptus, and Pinus species. Much fewer research findings provide information on the ecology, management, and pest control practices for native species timber plantations.

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1 - Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, 104 Nicoll St, Apt 2, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA
2 - Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, 370 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA
3 - Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Greeley Memorial Laboratory, 370 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA
4 - Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Center for Tropical Forest Science, Tupper building 401, Av. Roosevelt, Ancon, Panama, Panama

leaf traits
Native Species Plantations
tropical America
Tropical Timber Trees.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 7
Location: 552A/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 11:15 AM
Number: 7005
Abstract ID:652

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