Long Term Research on BCI
Bee Biology, Pollination Ecology, Palynology, Entomology, Evolutionary Ecology. Including
field research on pollination of native and cultivated tropical plants, bee communication and foraging behavior, biology and systematics of honey bees and stingless bees, Euglossine bees and bees in general, in equatorial forests of the world.
Evolution and behavior; bees: (Hymenoptera: Apoidea, especially Halictidae), solitary wasps (Sphecidae, Pompilidae) and ants (Formicidae); parasitism; sociality; social complexity; learning and behavioral diversification; brain evolution; environments.
Walt Carson, University of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
- Do mammals and insects control tropical forest diversion? A community experimental test
Phyllis Coley, University of Utah
- Long term studies of herbivory and pathogen damage to tropical trees
Richard Condit, STRI Staff Scientist
- Dynamic of a Tropical Forest "50 has plot".
As far as documenting patterns of species richness and species composition in the tropics, Richard Condit has begun work by evaluating patterns within the 50-hectare forest censuses (all stems greater than 10 mm diameter were mapped), established as part of the program of the Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS). By providing detailed data on tree distribution over a fairly large area, the plots provide precise information about local changes in diversity and composition. Condit has evaluated correlations of point diversity estimates with local topography at the Barro Colorado Island (BCI) plot, showing that moister regions of the plot harbor more species, largely because more species of tree seedlings can persist where soils remain wet through the dry season. He has also been examining variations in diversity at broader scales, in much different forest types subjected to different kinds of disturbance, in the Panama Canal Area. Moreover, Condit has documented dramatic reduction in the population size of several tree and shrub species associated with wet parts of the BCI plot, apparently caused by a long-term reduction in rainfall on the island. The recent severe drought in central Panama is providing new tests of these climate-induced changes at Barro Colorado , and now he also has data from a much drier forest and a much wetter forest close BCI. Plots at these two sites were fully censused just before the current drought, and will be recensused in a year to gauge the drought's effect on mortality. Overall, Condit has shown both spatial and temporal components of a reduction in diversity associated with a reduction in moisture. In addition, he has begun analyses of spatial changes in community composition within the BCI plot.
Jacalyn Giacalone, Montclair State University
- Mammalian population fluctuations in relation to fruit crops
Allen Herre, Staff Scieintist
- Studies of figs and fig-associated organisms
- The interactions of tropical plants with fungal pathogens and mutualists
- The interactions of tropical plants with endophytic fungi
Elisabeth Kalko, STRI Staff
- Case studies of bat species interacting with other organisms
- Comparisons of behavior, physiology, and ecology of sympatric bat species
- Comparative community studies
- Museum studies on taxonomy and systematics of bats
Egbert Leigh, STRI Staff Scientist
- How can/does natural selection reconcile individual advantage with the good of that individual's group, species or ecological community?
- What circumstances are required for mutualism to evolve, either among members of the same species, or those of different species?
- To what extent are ecosystems "commonwealths" in whose integrity member species have a common interest? What factors, if any, favor the transformation of ecosystems into mutually beneficial commonwealths?
- Why are there so many kinds of tropical trees?
- What can small, newly isolated islands tell us about the ecological organization of intact forest?
Katherina Milton, University of California-Berkeley
- Population dynamics on the howler monkey population on BCI
- Genetics of BCI howler monkey
- Functions of the howling vocalization of male howlers of BCI
Robert Stallard, U.S. Geological Survey, Colorado
- Long term monitoring of biogeochemical cycles in watersheds on Barro Colorado Island
Martin Wikelski, Princeton University, New Jersey; Roland Kays, New York State Museum
- Automated Radio Telemetry project for BCI.
More info: http://www.princeton.edu/~wikelski/research/index.htm
Map of Barro Colorado showing the telemetry towers locations
Other research being done within the BCNM
- Flight energetics of migratory butterflies. Robert Dudley, University of California-Berkeley
- Comparative physiology of tolerance to water stress and shade of rainforest plants. Thomas Kursar, University of Utah.
- Comparative ecology of pioneer’s evidence for local variation in life history characters. Jim Dalling, University of Illinois
- Functional bases for the trade-off between growth and survival of tree seedlings. Kaoru Kitajima, University of Florida.
- Effects of long-term fertilization and host plant specificity on species diversity of arbuscular mycorrhyzal fungi in a tropical forest. Damond Kyllo, STRI Post Doctoral Visiting Scientist.
- Avian extinction and persistence in fragmented tropical landscapes. Douglas Robinson, Oregon State University.
- Ecology of Tropical Epiphytes. Gerhard Zotz, University of Basel.