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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Oliphant, Simone [1], Koptur, Suzanne [2].

Seed Dispersal of Apocynaceae Family of Pine Rocklands.

The South Florida ecosystem is comprised of several tropical and subtropical biomes, including Rockland hammocks and Pine Rockland which are unique to the area. Florida's Pine Rocklands is composed of limestone rock outcroppings, with an overstory of slash pine and an understory of various tropical and temperate shrubs, vines, palms and wildflowers. With little soil substrate and a dependence on fire, pine rocklands are especially at risk due to construction and development, along with fire suppression. The ecosystem is now considered critically imperiled, with only 2% being found outside of the Everglades National Park. One species of wildflower native to this ecosystem is Echites umbellatus, commonly known as the Devil's Potato. The flower is at risk from habitat loss and fragmentation, which hinders pollination as plants may be far from each other. The Echites flower is unusual, however, as it utilizes wind dispersal to spread its seeds. The main question of this study is to see how far the seeds of the flower disperse. Using an experimental set-up with a fan in a tunnel chamber, I will measure the distance traveled by the seeds. My objective is to ascertain how seed size, seed weight, plume dimensions, and "plume loading" (the weight or size vs. plume length) affect dispersal distance. The results of this study will be helpful in analysing the effects of fragmentation on the ability of the Echites flower to disperse within and between fragments of its rapidly diminishing habitat.

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1 - Florida International University, Biological Sciences, 2838 Madison Street Apt. 26, Hollywood, FL, 33020, USA
2 - Florida International University, Department Of Biological Sciences, 11200 SW 8th St, Miami, FL, 33199, United States

Pine rocklands
South Florida.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Conservation Biology
Location: Grand Ballroom - Exhibit Hall/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PCB012
Abstract ID:833
Candidate for Awards:None

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