Archbold Biological Station
Biennial Report 1995-1996

P.O. Box 2057 Lake Placid, Florida 33862 USA
Phone:
863-465-2571 FAX: 863-699-1927
email

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1995-96
Interns and Graduate Students*

Dawn Berry*
Elizabeth Borst*
Owen D. Boyle
Sanyaalak Burkhart
Christina M. Casado
Ron Clouse*
Frederick Davis*
Ken Dayer
Arthur Fleischer*
Mary Garvin*
Tina Louise Giofriddo*
Jill Goldstein*
Deborah Graves
Stacey Halpern
Christine V. Hawkes*
Jose Luis Hierro
Jodie Jawor*
Gerald R. Johnston*
Bill Keating*
Jennifer Kreps*
George Landman
Stacy Lindeman
Vishnu Star Love*
Jared MacLachlan
Margie Mayfield
Brian Nelson*
Jennifer D. Osgood
Pedro Quintana-Ascencio*
Laura Schramm
Keith Tarvin*
L. Danielle Todd
Helen Violi
Joyce K. Voneman
Lee M. Walton*
Alexander Wild

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Student Research

During 1995–96, 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 Archbold’s 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
[Research Internships in plant ecology]
Bayheads, swamps dominated by bay trees, can form in fire-suppressed seasonal ponds in central Florida. Is this invasion conditioned on the distribution of bayheads and ponds in the landscape? Intern George B. Landman (Holy Cross College), studied this question by sampling the initial stages of bayhead invasion into 50 seasonal ponds at the Station and in the neighboring Lake Placid Scrub Preserve. He found that the density of both large and small trees was greatest in ponds close to patches of bayhead vegetation, and therefore that landscape pattern could constrain local successional dynamics. Habitat destruction and fragmentation are likely to slow this invasion by isolating both seasonal ponds and bayheads. Landman's paper has been submitted to Castanea.

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
Research by students in the bird lab has contributed importantly to our understanding of Archbold jays. Keith Tarvin (Ph.D. candidate at Univ. of South Florida (USF)) is writing his dissertation on habitat-specific demography of blue jays. Tarvin (and his M.A. supervisor Kim Smith, Univ. of Arkansas) published a paper on nesting success in suburban blue jays, and Tarvin and GEW have a paper in press on dominance and aggression in blue jays based on work at the Station. Mary Garvin, who received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 1996 and now has a post-doctoral position at Notre Dame University, wrote her dissertation on blood parasites of blue jays.

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
Scrub habitats within suburban areas of Highlands County, Florida, have been altered as a result of fire suppression, habitat loss, and exotic invasions. Lee M. Walton (M.A. student at Villanova Univ.) is examining how these changes in habitat structure and composition affect nest-site selection by Florida scrub-jays. Walton is comparing vegetation differences at several spatial scales (nest-site, nest-shrub, vegetation patch) at jay nests in suburban scrub and at Archbold. Does nest-site selection differ between these two sites and does nest-site selection influence nest survival?

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.


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Biennial Report Contents

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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.