December 4 2014

5:00 pm BSRB 154

EcoEvoPub Series

Graduate Student Presentations


Kevin Neal
Dept of EEB

"Population structure of geckos and skinks in southern New Caledonia"

Charlie de la Rosa
Dept of EEB

"Effects of cattle foraging on the structure and composition of tropical deciduous forest in Sonora, Mexico"

Cattle (Bos primigenius taurus and B. p. indica) affect the structure and species composition of tropical deciduous forest (TDF), yet impact magnitude and conservation implications of low-density cattle ranching in this rare, threatened, and beautiful forest type remain unevaluated. I am studying two linked phenomena: the impact of cattle on the structure and species composition of tropical deciduous forest (TDF), and cattle foraging and ranging behavior in TDF. My project is in the northernmost extent of TDF in the Americas, in southwestern Sonora, Mexico, where cattle ranches are common. I use a matched-pairs quadrat design to investigate cattle impacts on woody plant composition in TDF, and define impacts in terms of observed biodiversity, forest community structure. The planned study of cattle behavior focuses on the influences of geomorphology, hydrology, and plant defenses on cattle foraging decisions and movement in a heterogeneous environment. This study will contribute to an ecological evaluation of the conservation impacts and sustainability of low-density ranching.











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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