SEED DISPERSAL BY MIMUS POLYGLOTTOS AND TYRANNUS DOMINICENSIS INTO ABANDONED FARMLANDS IN PUERTO RICO

Open Access
Author:
Wang, Christine Alice
Area of Honors:
Biology
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Tomas Carlo, Thesis Supervisor
  • Tomas A Carlo, Thesis Supervisor
  • Richard Cyr, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • tyrannus
  • mimus
  • seed dispersal
  • forest regeneration
Abstract:
Deforestation can have negative impacts on ecosystems, such as decreasing diversity, degrading soils, disruption of water cycles, and climate change. Seed dispersal by birds is one of the most important factors in the recovery of deforested and abandoned lands. By studying the effects birds have on seed dispersal into deforested areas, we hope to understand the mechanisms that shape forest recovery in tropical landscapes. In this study, bird activity was recorded using video cameras in cattle farms in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The two most abundant bird species recorded were Tyrannus dominicensis and Mimus polyglottos. Despite being primarily an insectivore, T. dominicensis was more responsible than the more frugivorous M. polyglottos for both seed dispersal and for seed species diversity arriving in the pastures. I conclude that T. dominicensis may play a major role in forest succession from abandoned pasture lands in Puerto Rico.