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Monday, April 9 • 4:45pm - 5:00pm
LANDSCAPE PATTERN & PROCESS: Differential Effect of Habitat Loss and Fragmentation on Pollinators and Seeds Dispersers of Heliconia Tortuosa in Costa Rica

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AUTHORS: Luis Antonio Arias-Medellín, University of Toronto; Adam S. Hadley, Oregon State University; Urs Kormann, Oregon State University; Noelia. L. Volpe, Centro de Ecología Aplicada al Litoral; Matthew G. Betts, Oregon State University; Helene H. Wagner, University of Toronto

ABSTRACT: Changes in landscape composition and configuration can alter abundance, richness and movement behavior of animals, affecting pollination and seed dispersal indirectly. In southern Costa Rica, research has shown that habitat loss and fragmentation is affecting hummingbird abundance and movement patterns, which is decreasing seed set of the understory herb Heliconia tortuosa in small isolated patches. However, if seed dispersers are less fragmentation sensitive than pollinators, seed dispersal might offer the potential to buffer the effects of reduced pollination on recruitment by bringing seeds from other patches. We tested if habitat loss and fragmentation differentially affected the community composition and movement behavior of pollinators and seed dispersers of Heliconia tortuosa in the sorrundings of Las Cruces, Costa Rica. We used a stratified random sampling to select patches with different sizes and proportion of forest in a 1-km radius. Pollinators were captured in 14 patches using mist nets, and seed dispersers were counted in 49 patches using fixed-radius point counts and stopping rule-based walkabout surveys. We also radio-tracked the primary pollinator of H. tortuosa, the green hermit hummingbird (Phaetornis guy), and the main seed disperser, the clay colored thrush (Turdus grayi). Redundancy analysis showed that pollinator communities shifted more strongly between large and connected to small and isolated patches than seed disperser communities. Similarly, linear mixed models showed that patch size and forest amount affected home range and habitat utilization of the main pollinator but not the main seed disperser. This suggests that seed dispersal could potentially buffer the negative effect of forest fragmentation on reduced pollination, which may reduce a decline of seedling recruitment in small, isolated patches predicted from pollinator behavior alone.

Monday April 9, 2018 4:45pm - 5:00pm CDT
Spire Parlor