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Module 14: Exotic Species Introduction

Module 14: Exotic Species Introduction

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Module 14: Exotic Species Introduction

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  1. Module 14: Exotic Species Introduction Cameron, Barney, Puja, Nate, Crystal, Rachael Atlantic Forest, Brazil SEE-U 2000

  2. Introduction • Exotic species currently are the second greatest threat to biodiversity behind habitat loss (Wilson, 2000) • Exotic species may greatly affect the level of biodiversity in an area (increase/decrease). Eucalyptus plantations are very common in Brazil • Eucalyptus plantations are common in Brazil

  3. Objective • This study was designed to measure the regeneration of woody species in an Atlantic Forest compared to a Eucalyptus spp. plantation in order to see the impact of exotic species on biodiversity

  4. Methodology • Data along 35 meter transects was collected from two different forest habitats (Atlantic Forest, Eucalyptus plantation) with replicates at each site • Plots of .25m2 were used every 7m to sample regeneration of woody plant species • Insect morphospecies richness and diversity was qualitatively measured as an indicator of diversity • Canopy cover was measured using a densiometer at 7 m intervals • Leaf litter was measured in order to study the conditions conducive to growth of woody species

  5. Results • There was a significant difference in canopy coverage between sites (Atlantic Forest=85%, Eucalyptus site=64%, t=4.35, p<0.05) • There was no statistical difference in regeneration between the two sites (t=-1.53, p<0.05) • The total number of insects found in the Atlantic Forest was 39 and in the Eucalyptus forest, 40.

  6. Abundance of Woody Species

  7. Abundance of Insects

  8. Leaf Litter

  9. Discussion • The Eucalyptus spp. plantation (exotic) had lower amounts of regeneration of woody plants than the Atlantic Forest • The abundance of insects showed little difference in number between the two sites • The Eucalyptus was dominated by an exotic grass (molasses), which does not spread if no disturbance takes place on site

  10. Discussion con’d • Exotic species do not necessarily reduce biodiversity in an area

  11. Literature Cited • Wilson, E.O., (2000) Conserving Earth’s Biodiversity (Island Press: Washington D.C.) cd rom