Photos from the Field: Heymann et al. 2014. Research Impacts on Bromeliads

Eckhard W. Heymann, Laura L. Wörner, Birgit Ziegenhagen, Ronald Bialozyt. 2014. Research Trails Affect the Abundance of an Epiphytic Tropical Bromeliad. Biotropica, 46(2): 166-169.

Concerns have been expressed that research methods and research infrastructure may affect the systems under study, which could lead to biased results. Effects of research activities on seedlings, saplings, and understory plants that are subjected to trampling and injury have been demonstrated. However, as of yet, no effects on epiphytic plants have been reported. In this paper, we demonstrate the impact of research trails on the abundance of an epiphytic tropical bromeliad, Guzmania vittata, at a research site in Peruvian Amazonia. Compared to the interior of the forest, the abundance of this bromeliad is significantly higher along the research trails. While we do not know the exact cause for the increased bromeliad abundance along the trails, we discuss enhanced dispersal of anemochorous seeds as a potential mechanism that generates this impact.

 

Heyman et al. 2014. The Estación Biológica Quebrada Blanco (EBQB) is a field research site in north-eastern Peruvian Amazonia. While the focus of research at EBQB has traditionally been on primate ecology and behaviour, researchers and students interested in other organisms are highly welcome. (Photo: E.W. Heymann).

Heyman et al. 2014. The Estación Biológica Quebrada Blanco (EBQB) is a field research site in north-eastern Peruvian Amazonia. While the focus of research at EBQB has traditionally been on primate ecology and behaviour, researchers and students interested in other organisms are highly welcome. (Photo: E.W. Heymann).

Heyman et al. 2014. The EBQB is directed by Eckhard W. Heymann from the Deutsches Primatenzentrum (German Primate Center) in Göttingen, Germany. (Photo: Lucia H. Bartecki)

Heyman et al. 2014. The EBQB is directed by Eckhard W. Heymann from the Deutsches Primatenzentrum (German Primate Center) in Göttingen, Germany. (Photo: Lucia H. Bartecki)

Heyman et al. 2014. Observation of a tamarin at close range. Due to the continuous presence of field researchers and assistants, our tamarin study groups are extremely well habituated and allow for observation at very close range. (Photo: E.W. Heymann).

Heyman et al. 2014. Observation of a tamarin at close range. Due to the continuous presence of field researchers and assistants, our tamarin study groups are extremely well habituated and allow for observation at very close range. (Photo: E.W. Heymann).

Heyman et al. 2014. Saguinus nigrifrons checks out an ant garden. Saddle-back tamarins spend much time searching for prey in closed microhabitats. (Photo: Lucia H. Bartecki)

Heyman et al. 2014. Saguinus nigrifrons checks out an ant garden. Saddle-back tamarins spend much time searching for prey in closed microhabitats. (Photo: Lucia H. Bartecki)

Heymann et al. 2014. Where are the monkeys? Although our tamarin study groups are very well habituated, observations can become challenging when they are high up in the canopy. The photo shows Eckhard W. Heymann (left) with students and a local field assistant during a practical. (Photo: Alexander Kratzenberg)

Heymann et al. 2014. Where are the monkeys? Although our tamarin study groups are very well habituated, observations can become challenging when they are high up in the canopy. The photo shows Eckhard W. Heymann (left) with students and a local field assistant during a practical. (Photo: Alexander Kratzenberg)