|Continent||Central and Latin America|
|Date||26 Oct 2012|
The plant-animal interactions have the characteristic to affect the structure and community composition of plants in the tropical rain forest. Around 50 to 90% of canopy tree species and 77 to 98% of understory shrubs, depend on animals to removal and disperse their seeds.
The main objective of, is to determine the effect of defaunation of terrestrial mammals on the removal of large seeds at the Lacandona rain forest, Chiapas, Mexico, through describing the dynamics of fruit removal and determining the relationship between the relative abundance of medium and large mammals and the rate of removal of Spondias mombin fruits.
To describe the dynamics of seed removal of Spondias mombin I will select two sites, the first one with a long track record of hunting and fragmentation and the second, a protected area for federal Government. In each site, I will select six fruiting tree of S. mombin. Below the treetop I will place two excluder of mesh for fauna, the first for large fauna (1x1x0.7m) and the second for medium fauna (1x1x07m) in addition a quadrant of 1x1 m (without mesh). Within each excluder and quadrant, I will place 40 S. mombin’s fruits. At the base of each tree, I will place a camera-trap that will allow me to record wildlife activity on the site such as species of animals that visit the tree, visiting hours and number of visits per specie. Also, I will be marked 10 seed with a thin white thread 50-60 cm long passing through it. This will allow me determine the likely fate of seeds removed from the excluders and quadrants and the effectiveness of the dispersion of the different groups of mammals.
To know the relative abundance of terrestrial medium and large mammals in both sites, I will use the method of photo-traps. The values of relative abundance obtained I will use it to establish a relation with the cup of removal of fruits found.
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