Archbold Biological Station
Biennial Report 1995-1996
P.O. Box 2057 Lake Placid, Florida 33862 USA
Phone: 863-465-2571 FAX: 863-699-1927
back to biennial 1995 home page
During 199596, 35 undergraduate, post-graduate, and graduate students were in residence at the Station and the MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center conducting independent research projects under the guidance of Staff Research Biologists. Almost all of these students were supported by Archbolds student research program. Students are selected, competitively, throughout the year, and receive a stipend and room and board in return for 20 hours of research assistance per week. Each student also conducts an independent research project, and often these projects lead to thesis research or to a scientific publication. We highlight a cross-section of student research from three labs.
Plant Ecology: Lab
Director, Eric S. Menges
Pastures once planted with the exotic bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum) are slow to revert to native habitat once they are abandoned. Intern Helen Violi (State Univ. New York-Plattsburgh) is studying restoration methods including sod removal, disking, herbicide application, and fire, in flatwoods and scrub soils. Her experimental treatments were applied in 1996 and she is continuing long-term monitoring.
Plant lab demographic studies of the perennial herb Eriogonum floridanum have shown that fire stimulates flowering and that seedling recruitment can follow. Intern Kelly McConnell (Truman State Univ.) experimented with mechanisms imitating fire (removal of aboveground parts of E. floridanum, shrub clipping, ash addition, litter removal) to investigate which might be responsible. Flowering occurred mainly in response to aboveground removal, but so far seedling recruitment has been minimal in both experimental and recently-burned sites.
Bryophyte species composition, abundance, and preference for substrate and community type were characterized at the Station by intern Christina Casado (Tufts Univ.). Sites unburned for a minimum of 15 years were sampled in 7 vegetation types. She recorded 65 species of bryophytes (40 new records for the Station), with the highest species richness in long-unburned sand pine scrub. Bryophytes occurred most often on trees and shrubs under a tree canopy, and less often on sand, submerged, or in full sun. These results indicate that forested areas with a long fire-return interval are necessary for the existence of rich bryophyte communities. Although some bryophyte species on the Station have cosmopolitan or West Indian distributions, others have localized and disjunct ranges.
Bird Lab: Lab Director,
Glen E. Woolfenden
Jill Goldstein, who received her M.A. degree from USF (now a Ph.D. student at Univ. of Georgia), is preparing for publication her work on FSJ parents, stepparents, and how they affect natal prebreeders. Several bird lab students are working on FSJs for advanced degrees. Peter Midford (Ph.D. student at Univ. of Wisconsin) is writing his dissertation on social learning in FSJs. Brad Stith (Ph.D. candidate at Univ. of Florida) is completing his dissertation on metapopulation modeling, which will have a profound effect on FSJ conservation practices in the near future. Bill Keating (M.A. candidate at USF) is writing his thesis on nocturnal roosting of FSJs. Tina Gionfriddo (beginning M.A. student at USF) is gearing up to study egg recognition in FSJs. Liz Borst (M.A. student at Villanova Univ.) has begun her field work on breeder experience and fecundity. Doug Kramer (M.A. student at Univ. Wisconsin) continues his field work on caching behavior.
Applied Avian Ecology Lab: Lab
Director, Reed Bowman
Suburban scrub-jays in Lake Placid have access to ad libitum food via bird feeders. They also lay larger clutches of eggs earlier in the season than scrub-jays at Archbold. Artie Fleischer (M.A. student at USF) is attempting to determine how supplemental food affects scrub-jay behavior prior to the breeding season. Do females conserve energy by foraging less or do they simply increase their food intake rate? Answers to these questions may help us understand some of the mechanisms behind demographic differences between suburban scrub-jays and those at the Station.
Lohrer, F.E. (Editor). 1998.
Archbold Biological Station, Biennial Report 1995-1996. Archbold Biological Station, Lake
Placid. 62 pp.
© Archbold Biological Station, 1998 October.
Webmaster: Fred Lohrer.