Tue 28 Jul 2009: 2pm – Trevor Caughlin on “Long and short distance seed dispersal in Huai Kha Khaeng”

Biodiversity & Ecology Journal Club, NUS DBS

All are welcome!

“Contrasting the advantages of long and short distance seed dispersal for tree populations at the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary.”

By Trevor Caughlin
Doctoral candidate, University of Florida.

Date: Tue 28 July 2009: 2pm
Venue: SR2 (S2 Level 4-10)

Host: Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz,
Terrestrial Ecology Lab

Abstract – The Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary in western Thailand is notable for having intact animal populations and a dynamic mosaic of forest types from evergreen to dry deciduous dipterocarp.

My research examines how ingestion by large wide-ranging animals, such as civets, affects tree populations in this landscape. Experiments quantifying seed fate show that the advantage of frugivory for three trees in the family Annonaceae is likely to be related to seed movement, rather than gut passage or deposition in dung. However, the benefits of movement for seed fate and ultimately tree populations are likely to be different at different distances from conspecific tree populations.

About the speaker – Born and grown in the United States, Trevor Caughlin’s fascination with tropical fruits began in 6th grade, when he conducted his first germination experiments with the seeds of mango and papaya. Since then, Trevor has been involved in various projects that have taken him to study tropical ecology around the world.

At present Trevor is studying how seed dispersal structures tree populations in the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, central Thailand. This study is part of his PhD program at the University of Florida under the supervision of Professor Doug Levey, an eminent figure in tropical ecology and plant-animal interactions. He is also involved in research on the ecology of figs and seed-dispersing animals in South Florida.

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