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Tropical Terrestrial Ecology

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					A Resource Guide for Teaching Tropical Terrestrial Ecology by Dan Bisaccio

Section 1: Course Lecture Notes (pps. 4-16) Yucatan Maps (pps.17-18) Section 2: Lab. & Field Exercises (pps.19-38) Section 3: Appendix Field Journals (p.39) Socratic Seminar (p.40) Suggested Texts & Field Guides (p. 41) “Bambi’s” & Poster Session (pps.42-43) Basic Language Phrases (pps. 44-45)

Dan Bisaccio Email: aedbisacci@aol.com or habitatnet@sprise.com Phone: 603/673-9940 x.548

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Introduction

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A few years back, I was leading a night hike at the El Eden Ecological Reserve in Quintana Roo, Mexico when I heard one student utter a worried “uh-oh”. When I asked her what was wrong, she stated that we wouldn’t be able to use our compasses to find our way back to the trail since the sun had set. She was convinced that we were lost in “the jungle” that night! What I found interesting is that she was a very bright student and knew how to use a compass, but had the mistaken idea that once the sun sets, a compass cannot be used. Field experiences are essential and not frills. They allow students to “ground truth” their knowledge and skills by applying both in new contexts. A Resource Guide for Teaching TTE is designed to assist both teachers and students with gaining understanding, appreciation, and knowledge of tropical terrestrial ecosystems. Section 1 includes background information (“lecture notes”) while Section 2 includes field exercises designed to ground truth this newly acquired knowledge through the development of field skills and protocols. My hope is that both Section 1 and Section 2 enable students to develop scientific habits of mind while enjoying their exploration and adventure in tropical terrestrial ecosystems. Section 3 is an appendix with suggested methods for assessing student knowledge and skills via seminar discussions, field journals, and “in the field” poster sessions. Additionally, I have added some suggested texts, field guides, and language basics for travel in the Maya region. Acknowledgements Developing any field based course requires collaboration. The El Eden Ecological Reserve has been a long time collaborator and friend of our Souhegan High School HabitatNet initiative. In particular, Dr. Arturo Gomez-Pompa, Marco Lazcano, and Juan Castillo have offered invaluable expertise and support of our student based research projects at El Eden since 1995. Kenneth Johnson, Director of EcoColors, offers truly professional ecotourism adventures throughout the Yucatan and supports all of our logistical endeavors as well as provides unique field experiences for us when not at El Eden Ecological Reserve. The Center for Conservation Biology (University of California / Riverside) Director, Dr. Michael Allen and conservation biologist Dr. Edith Allen support HabitatNet in many ways but perhaps most importantly, do so by daring to include secondary school students as valued members in research projects. My colleagues and friends, Melissa Chapman and Kathy White truly “ground truth” me whether in the field or developing technology strategies to support HabitatNet students. I appreciate and value their ongoing collegiality both in the field and back at school. Certainly, without the support and commitment of the Souhegan High School (Amherst, NH) Administrative Team, field programs such as HabitatNet would never begin. Most importantly, I give my heartfelt thanks to my wife, Mame, and my children - Meghan, Kerry, and Nora - who have and continue to support my affair with field based courses. Thanks! I would be remiss not to mention and thank all of the students who have participated in HabitatNet field courses. They make it happen and offer proof positive that the next generation cares about global conservation. Finally, the initial funding for HabitatNet came from the National Science Teachers Association Tapestry Environmental Grant Program and the technical training provided by the Smithsonian Institution’s Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity (SIMAB) program.

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TROPICAL TERRESTRIAL ECOLOGY: Yucatan Region, Mexico

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This course is designed to give students an overview of tropical ecology through fieldwork and lectures. Emphasis on tropical forest structure and maintenance of diversity through adaptive flora and fauna associations will be examined. In addition, conservation issues surrounding tropical forest preservation will be integrated throughout the course. Topics: I. Introduction to the Tropics: geography, biotic/ abiotic characteristics, vertical stratification of forests II. Tropical Forest Structure & Plant Communities: A. Adaptations in Tropical Plants; pollination, seed dispersal, herbivory, taxonomy / identification B. Forest Structure and Microhabitats; light-gaps, tree diversity and densities C. Plant Communities; succession, disturbance, topography, life zones D. Nutrient Cycling and Soils; epiphytic soils, agents of decay, & temperate zone comparisons III. Animal Adaptations and Diversity: A. Adaptive Coloration and Mimicry Complexes B. Co-evolution Examples C. Symbiosis (temporary and long term examples) IV. Conservation Issues: A. Causes of Deforestation: mining, logging, ranching B. Consequences of Deforestations: biodiversity / extinction, global climate changes, legal & ethical rights of indigenous people C. Solutions: Education & Economic Incentives for Preservation Texts: See suggested reading list in Appendix Evaluation: Field Notebook: DUE : End of Course!

Required Field Journal Notes, Field Problems, and Labs: (1) Field Data Sheets (2) Bird Niche, Trophic Level & Behavior Data (3) Tree & Botanical Vertical Profiles (Stratification & Synusae) (4) Bromeliad Species Diversity Index/ Microhabitat Data Sheets (5) Epiphytic Class Load w/ respect to Abiotic Factors Analysis

* Field Notebook format is listed in Appendix
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Tropical Terrestrial Ecology Notes: Some tropical terrestrial ecology diversity statistics… (1) 1 Hectare (2.5 ac.) • • • 42,000 Insect Species 200 – 750 Tree Species 1500 Higher Plant Species

E.O. Wilson (Peru): 43 species (26 genera) of ants on one tree 50 species of plants have been identified on a single tree (2) Four Square Miles • • • • 125 Mammal Species 400 Bird Species 100 Reptile Species 60 Amphibian Species

(3) Why So Many Species? Biodiversity? A. Processes that ACCOMMODATE diversity: • Inter- & Intra- Species Competition

B. Processes that GENERATE diversity: • • Niche Availability & Structural Complexity of Ecosystem Abiotic / Biotic Influences including Adaptation and Speciation (Allopatric & Sympatric Speciation)

C. Current Thoughts on the Reason for High Biodiversity: • • • • • Climate Refuge Hypothesis (disjunct communities / isolation → genetic drift) A Mosaic of Successional Patterns (Light Gaps) Physiological Freedom for Organisms (Temp., Light, Moisture) Vertical Stratification & “MicroHABITAT” “Diversity begets Diversity” - niche diversity & specialization - interspecific competition leading to symbiosis & co-evolution

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Tropical Forests ARE the “Outer Limits” of Evolution!
Tropical Forests: Why so biologically diverse? A. Processes that accommodate diversity 1. Inter-specific competition 2. Intra-specific competition B. Processes that generate diversity 1. Niche availability / structural complexity (biotic) a. allochronic hatches, synchronous blooms, guilds 2. Abiotic Influences a. Climate Refuge Theory b. Light gaps / Spatial & Successional Mosiac – “Patches” c. Disturbance History (large and small scale) d. “Physiological freedom” – moisture, temperature e. Vertical Stratification of forests f. Elevational differences C. Some Diversity Statisitics 1. One hectare may include: a. 42,000 insect species b. 200-750 tree species c. 1500 higher plant species d. An individual tree may have 50 species of epiphytes on it! e. In Peru, one tree had 43 species of ants (26 genera) on it. 2. Four square miles may include: a. 125 mammal species b. 400 bird species c. 100 reptile and 60 amphibian species Terrestrial Biosphere – only 5-7 vertical miles! Biological Diversity (Biodiversity): a. Number of species per unit area, b. Variety of habitat per area c. Genetic diversity within a population d. Biological phenomenon * 1.7 million species described, 30-100 million species “out there”.

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Questions to consider: (1) Disturbance History? Anthropogenic & Natural (2) Human cultural use? …. past, present….future? (3) Eco-indicator species? Current / future needs ….? (4) Soil? Climatic inferences? Elevation? (Edaphic/ Climatic Plant Community ?) (5) Successional Information – current sere? Density / Frequency of sprouts?

Botanical Adaptations & Terms: 1. Xeromorphic / Drip-tip leaves 2. Skototropism 3. Apogeotropism 4. Epiphytes & Hemi-epiphytes 5. Epihylls 6. Leaf size / morphology vs. vertical stratification 7. Canopy Shyness 8. Buttresses & Pneumatophors 9. Synchronous phenology by species (flowers, fruit, leaf development)

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Symbiotic Interactions of two-species (A and B) When not interacting: Interaction Type Neutralism Competition Mutualism Protocooperation Commensalism Amensalism Parasitism Predatation Biome Metabolism A 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 B 0 + + + + + A 0 + + 0 0 0 When interacting: B

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Holdridge Life Zones

Evaporation / Rainfall If greater than 1.0, Drier Climate

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Bats
I. II. III. What are bats? - Anatomy & Taxonomy Taxonomic & Biogeographic Diversity (see next page) How do we catch bats to study? - mist nets - light tracking techniques Diversity in Feeding Behavior & Trophic Level Importance 1. Aerial Insectivores 2. Gleaning & Fly-catching Insectivores 3. Omnivores 4. Carnivores- the LARGEST NEW WORLD bats 5. Sanguivores- VAMPIRES 6. Piscivores 7. Nectarivores- MAJOR rain forest pollinators 8. Frugivores- extremely important in seed dispersal! Diversity in Reproductive Patterns 1. Polyestrous; seasonal VAMPIRES 2. Polyestrous; seasonal Most Other Tropical Bats 3. Monestrous; seasonal; Some Insectivorous Bats Diversity in Roost Site Selection 1. Caves- most rain forest areas have caves (Karst Topo) 2. Tree Limbs / Under Leaves 3. Tree Trunks 4. Tree Hollows 5. Fallen Logs 6. Rolled Heliconius and Banana Leaves 7. Buildings 8. Leaf Tents Diversity in Social Behavior 1. Solitary 2. Family Groups 3. Harems 4. Colonies 5. Leks Diversity in Temperature Regulation 1. Constant Temperature; cannot lower (most tropical bats) 2. Usually Constant; can lower under stress (few tropical bats) 3. Ambient at Will; estivators / hibernators (some insect.) Evolution: possible polypheletic but evidence weak 1. Microchiroptera - most bats (from insectivores) 2. Megachiroptera - Old World Fruit Bats (from primares?) 3. Early Eocene fossil bat

IV.

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Bats / Misc. Notes
CHIROPTERA: *second largest mammalian order (approx. 950 species) May also exceed all other groups of mammals in number of individuals Microchiroptera: insect eaters & carnivores Megachiroptera: frugivores (all tropical) Trophic Levels: *Insectivores *Carnivores “Bat Adaptations” Ability To Fly: reduction of size & mass. wing / “hand”; fingers support flight membrane & thumb holds bat to roost Both flight and nocturnal habit lead to niche exploitation and speciation Echolocation: 200 “clicks” per second frequency: 40-90 kHz (humans 20 kHz) Co-evolution in response to echolocation: *noctuid moths - “fuzzbuster” / erratic flight *arctiid moths – “scrambler” / 30-90 kHz Nectarivores (like nocturnal moths) visit white flowers; some lap their own urine (HCI) to help digest protein coat of pollen *Frugivores *Piscivores *Nectarivores *Sanguivores

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A. Adaptive Radiation – caused by the disharmonic equilibrium of representative families of flora/ fauna. Therefore niche exploitation by species present. B. Selected Examples Species “Type” Land Birds Insects Land Snails Seed Plants

Possible Arrival # 15 250 25 270

Present Species 70 3722 1061 1633

Polymorphism → Habitat Barriers → Speciation
• C. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Originally a small genetic pool, therefore inbreeding. Out-breeding will occur if niches open and sexual reproduction is a possibility. Dispersal Agents: viscous seeds and animal eggs barbed seeds (ectozoic transport) digestive tract of animals flotation: waves / currents wind - “aerial plankton”

D. Adaptations: 1. flightlessness (birds, insects) 2. loss of energy consuming protective measures (barbs / thorns; toxins / scents) E. Observation Paper: 33% of the Yucatan’s flora and fauna are “endemic”. What would cause such a high rate of endemism on this continental Karstic platform? Would you expect the Yucatan or Hawaii to have a higher biodiversity index? Why?

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* Advertise - repel or attract * Deceptive Coloration - suppress optical signals Adaptive Coloration & Communication I. Selected Examples: A. Insects: often green / brown; use of chemical pheromones for communication and defense (cyanide, HCl) Well developed olfactory BUT not visual senses. B. Frogs: often green / brown; rely on sound vs. sight. C. Birds: colorful and rely on visual displays. II. Why and how is color used? * Species MAY employ more than one! * A. Attract A Mate } INTRASPECIFIC B. Territory Display } INTRASPECIFIC C. Defense (camouflage, cryptic, warning) } Inter-SPECIFIC * There must be a “balance” between each of the above for an individual species. III. Coloration schemes to avoid predation (visual or invisible communication): A. Cryptic coloration (similar to background) B. Disruptive coloration C. Flash coloration D. Counter-coloration E. Structural mimicry F. Warning (aposematic) coloration {Batesian & Mullerian Mimics} IV. General Notes on Coloration: * Color is a dynamic and complex characteristic: Biocoloration is determined by quality and quantity of light a. biochromes - pigments b. shape, posture, position, and movement of organism 1. Iridescent - interference between incoming & reflected light 2. Reflection and Absorption of Light

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Identifying Igneous Rocks

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1. Identify chief mineral constituents: ORIGIN (color – light/ granitic - therefore “continental”; dark / basaltic - “oceanic”) 2. Rock Texture: EXTRUSIVE/ LAVA or INTRUSIVE / PLUTONIC gives you the cooling rate: on the surface – “extrusive” (Aphanitic), within the crust – “intrusive” (Phaneritic) ROCK COLOR LIGHT INTERMEDIATE DARK OLIVINE PYROXENE AMPHIBOLE Gabbro Basalt

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CHIEF QUARTZ PLAGIOCLASE MINERAL FELDSPAR CONSTITUENTS KFELDSPAR Na - FELDSPAR MICAS TEXTURE ↓ PHANERITIC APHANITIC VESICULAR GLASSY Granite Rhyolite Pumice Obsidian AMPHIBOLE Diorite Andesite Scoria

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Lithification of sediments, precipitates, evaporates: Sandstone, Limestone,Shale

Uplift Igneous & Metamorphic Mt. Building Events: *Fault Block Mts. *Volcanic Mts. *Fold Mts. Dome Mts.

Weathering & Erosion: * Wind * Water * Ice Production of sediment

Geologic Cycle & Rock Type Formations Igneous Granite → Metamorphic Gneiss → Schist Quartzite Marble Sedimentary → Sandstone ←Sandstone ←Limestone

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Conservation Notes for TTE: How many species inhabit Earth? Terry Erwin’s work using insecticidal fog and beetles: (1) 20% (herb. beetles) live on a specific tree: *based on temperate forests therefore… 160 beetles per canopy of a tree (2) 40% of known insects are beetles therefore… 400 species of insects per canopy of a tree .40 (x) = 160 (x) = 400 (3) 66% of insect species on a tree, live in the canopy therefore… 600 species of insects per tree .66 (x) = 400 (x) = 600 (4) 50,000 species of tropical trees so… 30,000,000 species (50,000) x (600) = 30,000,000 Tropical Beef: What is the cost? C. Uhi (Penn State) & G. Park (NY Botanical Gardens) 1 steer = 800 four ounce burgers

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1 steer requires 43,793 square feet (1 ac.) to graze enough to produce “800 burgers” Therefore, … 1 burger = 55 square feet or .5 ton of rain forest The actual cost difference between a rain forest burger and a temperate zone burger is 5 cents per burger! Misc. Tropical Connections: (A) 66% of North American birds are neotropical migrants (B) Approximately, 30% of our pharmaceuticals are tropical in origin (potential?) (C) Over 50% of our “genetic library”… that is, all species… are tropical species (D) “Extractive Reserves” foods (fruits, nuts, veg) AND “Ecotourism” (E) Global Climate (Photosynthesis vs. respiration & decay)

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Maps:

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Map 2: Conservation Areas

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Field Investigation: A comparison of Forest Diversity and Structure (Tropical Forests)

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Choose a representative 50 meter portion of the trail. Along this section you will be observing, estimation, and taking notes on the following: (Please quantify whenever possible) * Heading to include: Date, Location, Weather Information * Sketch a Vertical Profile I. Abiotic Factors: A. Altitude B. Ambient Temperature C. Relative Humidity D. Day length (time between sunrise and sunset) E. Annual Precipitation F. Current season G. Latitude/longitude Forest Structure: A. Measure the leaf litter depth at 10 points along the trail B. How dense is the understory? -at 2 meter height -at ground level C. Quantify the following adaptations (and any others you observe) -common leaf shapes -buttress/stilt roots -flaking bark -plant defenses (hairs, spines, thorns, etc.) -epiphytic growth (plants growing upon trees/shrubs) -flower shapes and colors (Who might pollinate them?) -presence/absence of seeds (How might they be dispersed?) D. Describe general tree shapes (i.e. straight trunk, rounded top, etc.) E. Are there vines? (describe them) F. How would you characterize the forest? (dry, moist, cloud, young, old, deciduous, evergreen) G. Approximate age of forest overall? H. What cultural factors have led to the forest’s current state? Was it cleared? How can you tell? Forest Diversity A. How many different tree species? B. Shrubs? C. Herbaceous plants? D. Palms? E. Epiphytes? F. Mammals? G. Reptiles and amphibians? H. Insects? I. Birds?

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Tropical Epiphyte Communities TTE Introduction & Background:

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The “luxuriant” appearance associated with wet tropical forests is due to the presence of epiphytes. Epiphytes were once thought to be parasitic although now we realize that they develop and create a unique epiphytic biogeochemical environment in which epiphytes not only receive nutrients from atmospheric water and chemicals (NOx, SOx) but also foster the development of epiphytic soils (In fact, I have collected Annelids from these canopy soils!). Often the “host” tree sends out adventitious roots from their canopy branches to tap into these epiphytic soils as well (Which raises the question: “which came first; the epiphytes dependent on host trees OR the trees dependent upon the epiphytic plants?”). The soils develop from decaying plant and animal biomass in the canopy ensnared in roots and leaves of these epiphytic plants. The soils are rich enough to even support tree seedlings which germinate and begin development in the canopy. This may give these tree seedlings a competive edge in establishing themselves to one day fill the canopy overhead… versus ungerminated tree seeds on the forest floor waiting for a “light gap” to develop and therefore trigger germination. Epiphytes that send roots down to the ground below are known as “hemi-epiphytes”. Examples include: strangler figs and Monstera sp. (split leaf philodendron). Of the 250,000 higher plants that have been scientifically described, 30,000 are epiphytes (Examples include: bromeliads and orchids). In montane cloud forests, epiphytes reach their zenith, accounting for 65% of the higher plant species found and up to 40% of the TOTAL biomass. Species diversity studies have found that a “typical” tropical tree has at least 50 species of epiphytes on it. In some montane cloud forests, the species diversity of epiphytes approaches 100 species per tree.

Field Problems:
(1) Comparing Epiphytic Loads: Choose two sites with differing abiotic influences (i.e.: sunlight, exposure to wind and/or light, elevation). Describe the epiphytic class loads and relative health/ abundance of epiphytes. Account for the differences observed. See below.

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(2) Using Simpson’s Species Diversity Index, dissect and mathematically determine the species diversity of a bromeliad that you collect. Be sure to include the abiotic factors that may influence the species diversity. You may use Recognizable Taxonomic Units (RTU) for the species diversity index. Tropical Botany Field Problem & Notes: (1) Field Problem: Select an area of forest and sketch a vertical profile to scale. *Identify, by “synusiae”, the major plants found in each vertical strata. *Identify each strata (forest floor, understory, canopy, emergent layer) on the y-axis. -Identify botanical characteristics of leaves, epiphytes, trunk, flowers, & fruits (you may include sketches) -Identify abiotic factors that seem to influence the botanical characteristics (develop a chart to organize your observations) -Identify any animal species you observe and note the vertical strata it occupies

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YOU WILL NEED TO USE BINOCULARS FOR THIS FIELD PROBLEM General Notes Concerning Tropical Botanical Adaptations: Heterotrophic Plants (A) Synusae: Autotrophic Plants 1. Mechanically Independent 1. Saprophytes a. trees/shrubs 2. Parasites b. herbs 2. Mechanically Dependent a. climbers b. stranglers c. epiphytes & hemi epiphytes (B) Adaptations, Structures, & Conditions To Look For: *xeromorphic leaf structure *apogeotropism *epiphyllic plants (epiphylls) *skototropism *cauliflory *smooth bark *epiphytic soils *canopy shyness & light gaps *CLASS LOADS (epiphytes) *buttresses, pneumatophores, trunk/ branch spines (C) Vertical Stratification: What to look for… Forest Floor: low light, humid, very warm; few green plants; dominant synusae types are parasites (haustoria tapping into xylem & phloem) and saprophytes (fungi; mycelium and hyphae). Shrub Layer: similar to Forest Floor, trees & shrubs usually have elongates crowns that are defined (height) by the angle of “sun-fleck” light. Leaves may have a “swollen” joint (pulvinus) at base that is sensitive to light and rotates leaf toward sun. Younger leaves are brightly colored… pigments act as sunblock for immature leaves. Canopy: 40-50 meters; leaves are dark green, drip-tips (xeromorphic), waxy cuticles to both prevent dehydration and shed water. Some canopy tree species produce toxins in branches/ trunk to deter germination of epiphytes. You may see cacti as epiphytes. Bright light, extreme temperature changes, and lower humidity. Emergent Layer: bright light, drying winds. Leaves are “waxier” and smaller in surface area (some trees have 2 distinct leaf sizes). Seeds are often dispersed by wind. (1) Vertical Profile / Label Synusae 20 meters x 20 meters Autotrophic Plants Heterotrophic Plants 1. Mechanically Independent 1. Saprophytes a. trees/shrubs 2. Parasites b. herbs 2. Mechanically Dependent a. climbers c. epiphytes & hemi-epiphytes b. stranglers

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(2) Species Diversity Index By Using “Taxonomic Units” (Bromeliad): Separate Sheet (3) Computing Canopy Density: a. Note location of bromeliad on tree * relative hgt. * aspect with respect to exposure/ sunlight b. Note Elevation (mid or upper slope) c. Calculate Canopy Density * two (2) 10 meter transects; perpendicular with the tree as origin * at one meter intervals, using densitometer, record + (cover) or 0 (sky) * % cover = no. of + / total points

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Field Problem – Comparing Epiphyte Loads
Site 1: Tree 1 % Epiphyte Cover Average Class of Load Notes

Tree 2

Tree 3

Site 2: Tree 1

% Epiphyte Cover Average Class of Load

Notes

Tree 2

Tree 3

Key to Load Classes: Class I - Sparse, small plants only Class II- Evenly covered, larger plants Class III- Thickly covered, some mat developed, woody plants evident Class IV- Very thickly covered, thick mat, large with shrubs and tree saplings

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Species Diversity:
An interesting exercise is to compare the diversity of animal life in two different microhabitats. One hypothesis may suggest that the microhabitat of pine cones embedded in litter is more diverse than in cones still attached to trees. Let’s test the hypothesis. Using the Berlese extraction technique, make observations from the contents of at least ten cones from two different locations. Collect and preserve arthropods in marked bottles containing rubbing alcohol. Group together like organisms, reported as taxons. You do not have to know what each organism is, only that each group had identical individuals. For example, from ten pine tree cones embedded in leaf litter you collected 45 mites and 12 long-bodied creatures with many legs. You would report these counts as: Leaf Litter Taxon 1 Taxon 2 45 (mites) 12 (?)

After you have classified your catch into separate taxons (discrete groups of organisms), you are ready to calculate the diversity index of each microhabitat. Use the following formula and hypothetical example: Diversity = N (N-1) ∑ (n-1) N= n= total number of individuals of all species number of individuals within a species Habitat 2: Tree 96 4 Taxon 1 Taxon 2 Taxon 3 Taxon 4 Taxon 5 20 3 30 37 10

Sample Calculations Habitat 1: Leaf Litter Taxon 1 Taxon 2

100 (100-1) 9900 96 (96-1) = 9132 + 4 (4-1)

100 (100-1) 9900 20 (20-1) = 2678 = 3.7 + 3 (3-1) + 30 (30-1) + 37 (37-1) + 10 (10-1) In this example, habitat 2 (cones in trees) is a more diverse microhabitat than habitat 1 (cones in leaf litter). This diversity calculation can be used with other sampling methods. = 1.08

TTE HabitatNet Invertebrate Record Sheet Location Bag Number Date Collected Taxon Diptera (Flies) Chironomidae (Midges) Annelida, Oligochaeta (Earthworms) Mollusca, Gastropoda (Snails) Odonata Zygoptera (Damselflies) Anisoptera (Dragonflies) Crustacea, Isopoda (Sowbugs) Hemiptera (True Bugs) Crustacea, Amphipoda (Scuds) Coleoptera (Beetles) Tally

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Leaf Type Date Identified Final Count

Total Number of Macros Total Number of Taxa

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Tropical Birds/ Field Problem & Notes:

(1) Field Problem: Using the Ashton data sheet on bird behavior, trophic level, and niche (guild) assignment develop a “by species key” (ex: Tody= A; Bannaquit= B, etc.). and collect field data to interpret the ecology and natural history of the birds observed. a. Is a particular species found only in a particular forest strata? b. What is the trophic level and niche (guild) of that species? c. Is it usually found: as a mixed species flock; as a single species flock? Solitary? d. Does it seem to have a territory? Does it overlap other species’ territories? Why/ Why not? e. Other notes… (2) General Notes on the Structure & Function of Avian Ecology: A. Distribution & Density 1. 220 acres of TRF may have 250 species of breeding birds (this is 5x greater than temperate forests). Depending on the season (wet/dry), there may be another 75 species added to that figure. 2. Ted Parker, in one study in Peru, counted 160 breeding and/or foraging species in a SINGLE POINT CENSUS PLOT. 3. Mixed flocks defend 10-12 acres of understory territories while mixed flocks located in the canopy defend 40-50 acres. Individual species show an extraordinary fidelity to a specific territory year after year (this is true for neotropical migrants as well… returning to the same Northern territory). The implications for CONSERVATION are enormous. B. What supports this diversity? 1. Tropical forests offer a vast array of microhabitat. Therefore, distribution patchiness is common. Examples of some microhabitat found in lowland tropical humid forests: * tree fall gaps * swampy = HABITAT PATCHES * fruit / nectar availability Avian species are sensitive to * flood plains distribution of vegetation and physical land form features. Examples: Microhabitat mature light gap tangle of canopy vines damp, heliconia plants floodplain upland mature forest Species warbling antbird, rufous-tailed flatbill fascinated antshrike, gray antbird plumbeous antbird fasciated tiger heron; low /sparse density most species; insect eaters

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Bisaccio C. What leads to diversity and speciation? 1. Niche Partitioning (formation of guilds): Ex: vine gleaners, trunk gleaners, dead leaf

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2. Niche partitioning lead to a mosaic of overlapping territories. D. Misc. Notes 1. Breeding Birds vs. Latitude (New World) 800 Ecuador 130 Minnesota 600 Panama 60 Hudson Bay 350 Guatemala 26 North Slope Alaska 150 Texas 2. 33% of tropical birds have dispersed with “conventional” breeding territories and have opted for an “alternative lifestyle” in the tropics. * LEKS: multiple male display grounds * COMMUNAL BREEDING species 3. Insectivores show higher hybridization and resulting speciation than frugivores. This may be supported by Jurger Haffer’s Climate Refuge (“Refugia”) hypothesis. Frugivores follow fruit and are more adept at flying greater distances than insectivores in search of food. PLEISTOCENE CLIMATIC CHANGES & REFUGIA Throughout the Pleistocene, there have been periods of habitat expansion and contraction in the tropics (due to global distribution / availability of water: glacial-interglacial periods). Initially, this has been supported by soil/ benthic mud sample analysis for spores, pollen, and seeds. Now, species distribution patterns represented by several contemporary butterfly (Heliconius) and bird species (toucans) seem to indicate “hybridization zones”… high diversity of phenotypes found in margins between refugia (re-contact zones). Isolated populations develop new trails (genetic drift) in response to environmental, biological, and random genetic changes. Haffer’s work was defined the “Rainfall Threshold” as 60 inches: >60 = forest <60 = grassland

TTE HabitatNet Tropical Bird Habitat and Behavior Name: Locations: Weather Conditions: Species Name or Code Number Time of Day Canopy Layer 1-4 Coloration Dull / Bright Solitary (S) / flocking (F) TERRITORIAL BEHAVIOR -calling -chasing -displaying AUDITORY COMMUNICATION -flocking calls -warning-alert -fussing -pair antiphonal singing FEEDING BEHAVIORS -hawking insects -gleaning foliage -gleaning trunks -eating fruits -nectar from flowers -following ant movements -seed harvesting -ground feeding Courtship Nest Construction Incubation Feeding Young Feeding Dependent Fledgling Young Soaring Flying Perching Tree Hopping Dusting Bathing Observed in Association with Species # Date:

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TTE HabitatNet Tropical Bird Habitat and Behavior Name: Locations: Weather Conditions: Species Name or Code Number Time of Day Canopy Layer 1-4 Coloration Dull / Bright Solitary (S) / flocking (F) TERRITORIAL BEHAVIOR -calling -chasing -displaying AUDITORY COMMUNICATION -flocking calls -warning-alert -fussing -pair antiphonal singing FEEDING BEHAVIORS -hawking insects -gleaning foliage -gleaning trunks -eating fruits -nectar from flowers -following ant movements -seed harvesting -ground feeding Courtship Nest Construction Incubation Feeding Young Feeding Dependent Fledgling Young Soaring Flying Perching Tree Hopping Dusting Bathing Observed in Association with Species # Date:

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Leaf Productivity vs. Altitude Study Introduction: Tropical montane cloud forests are generally believed to be less productive than lowland tropical forests. While the “xeromorphic” (small, thick, and hard) leaves characteristic of montane trees generally exhibit higher leaf mass per area, lowland forest leaves typically show a lower biomass density. This difference in leaf mass per area is correlated with the longer lived leaves in tropical montane forests. However, islands that experience more wind disturbance may, in fact, exhibit differences to the above norm. Methods: To test these hypotheses we will measure 3 parameters at each of our forest field sites, along an altitudinal gradient: 1) Leaf mass per unit area 2) Leaf longevity, and 3) Leaf litter per unit area. Students will divide into groups. Each group will be given a different characteristic tree species for that field site and conduct the investigation for all three parameters. Study Sites: During this week you will be able to measure each of these parameters along an altitudinal gradient at various sites. Detailed Methods: 1) a) b) c) d) e) Leaf mass per unit area: (at each site) Collect 10 leaves from one branch of your “target species” Record the DBH of that tree Determine the surface area of each leaf and record The “dry biomass” of the leaf will be determined at the marine lab. Determine the M/SA ratio for each of the 2 trees and determine the average for that species at that site (record on data sheet)

2) Leaf Retention: (at each site) a) Paint and tag each of the 3 trees (tag # protocol will be discussed) b) On each of the 3 trees, choose one branch that has a minimum of 10 leaves and “mark” that branch (paint) c) Mark the underside of each of the leaves (10 leaves) per tree with a “sharpie” and cover mark with clear fingernail polish. 3) a) b) c) Results: 1) Compare the class results (all tree species – M/SA average vs. altitude of each site): a) Is there a correlation between altitude and leaf M/SA? b) Is there a relationship between leaf mass, leaf retention, and leaf litter? References: Bruijnzeel, L. and Veneklaas, E., 1998. Climatic conditions and tropical forest productivity: the fog has not yet lifted, Ecology 79(1) 3-9 Sollins, P., 1998. Factors influencing species composition in tropical lowland rain forest: does soil matter? Ecology 79(1) 23-30

Leaf Litter Biomass: (at each site) At the base of one of your target species tree, toss the .25 M2 decimeter frame Collect the “surface litter” within the frame The “dry biomass” of the leaf litter will be determined at field station.

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Random X 8 2 3 10 8 6 7 5 5 2 2 6 3 8 3 6 9 3 7 2 8 4 3 5 3 X 4 10 7 5 3 1 6 2 4 4 9 7 6 5 2 2 Y 6 1 9 5 8 8 4 7 8 5 4 2 1 5 4 1 2 2 9 4 4 6 3 10 4 Y 9 10 2 6 3 3 3 4 1 8 5 10 2 8 3 9

Numbers X 4 5 1 7 10 6 6 7 3 3 4 3 4 4 10 7 8 8 8 4 9 10 6 3 7 X 8 9 8 2 5 10 3 3 10 3 2 3 6 8 10 9 Y 9 8 4 2 1 9 7 10 6 8 1 2 6 5 3 6 9 3 8 3 8 2 5 4 5 Y 1 4 2 9 2 3 4 10 6 7 7 5 3 10 4 5

Random X 8 6 5 4 8 8 4 8 4 5 5 7 8 7 6 1 1 4 8 5 8 3 4 4 3 X 9 7 4 9 2 6 6 9 3 2 6 6 3 4 3 9

Numbers Y 7 8 6 4 5 2 2 2 8 7 8 2 8 5 6 2 5 7 4 5 4 4 2 4 6 Y 6 7 2 6 2 3 9 6 8 5 7 5 3 2 2 8

Random X 5 10 9 10 7 7 1 8 5 8 8 8 10 5 7 3 4 1 1 7 6 10 5 7 1 X 9 8 6 3 9 5 9 3 5 10 6 3 3 3 6 9

Numbers Y 9 3 7 10 6 3 6 10 9 5 4 8 1 8 7 8 7 5 4 2 3 9 5 6 8 Y 4 9 7 2 3 1 3 3 9 8 6 9 5 4 7 4

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Location: _____________________

RTU (or Species): ____________________________________ Tree 1 Leaf # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Area Mass Mass/ Area

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Mass/ Area

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Topic / Field Research Project: Invasive Ecology Objective: To establish baseline data on invasive species. Field data will include both stratified random counts and point count transects to include population size and relative importance values for the target species. Background: Long-term monitoring efforts enable ecologists / conservation biologists to provide data and analysis to local agencies, international agencies, and governments for determining solutions to environmental / anthropogenic issues. One of the major issues facing the conservation of local biological diversity on a global scale is the widespread introduction of “alien” species to local ecosystems. In particular, island species often lose their defenses / capabilities to reproduce and sustain populations successfully due to the initial disharmonic equilibria of island occupation. This is particularly acute for islands that are more removed from terrestrial continents (i.e.: Hawaii has the highest extinction rate in the USA – a case example is that 70% of the endemic avian fauna are now extinct due to the recent anthropogenic introduction of pigs, goats, birds, domestic cats, and the Guam tree snake.). *Fragmented terrestrial habitat on continents may also exhibit vulnerability to exotic species. What is an introduced (alien) species is certainly a debatable question. However, for the purposes of this research project the follwing dfintions apply: Introduced / Alien / Exotic Species – Any species introduced by humans to a habitat that was not present before the human introduction. Invasive Species – Any species that is introduced by humans and spreads rapidly within that new habitat causing harm to native or endemic species. Recent data in the United States indicates that out of every 100 introduced (alien) species, 10 become established populations and 1 becomes invasive. On remote islands, the number of invasive species from introduced species is expected to be much higher.

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Protocols: A. Stratified Random Sampling: 1. Survey a 20 meter by 20 meter quadrat (mark corners). 2. Subdivide the quadrat into 16, 5 meter by 5 meter sub-quadrats. 3. In each sub-quadrat, measure the DBH of each target species. 4. Determine the total number and average DBH for the target species in the 400 square meter quadrat (see data sheet). 5. Determine the Density and Importance Value for the target species. 6. If time allows, repeat protocol for ALL other tree species in quadrat. B. Point Count Transect Survey: 1. Lay down a transect tape along a pre-determined compass directional for 20 meters. 2. Count and measure the DBH for the target species within 2 meters of the line (both sides) along the 20 meter transect. 3. Repeat the above for a total of 5 transects (total area = 400 square meters). 4. Determine the Average DBH, Density, and Importance Value for the target species (see data sheet). 5. If time allows, repeat protocol for ALL other tree species. Statistical Formula: Density = ∑ (n1 + n2 …. ni) / 400 m2 Where n = the number of trees

Average DBH = ∑ (DBH n1 + DBH n2 ….DBH ni) / ni Importance Value = Basal Area + Density (for that species) Basal Area = π (avg. DBH)2 / 4 (400) m2

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Invasive Species Data Sheet Name: ______________________________ Date: ___________________

Location / Site: _________________________________________________ Target Species: _________________________________________________ Protocol: ___________________________________ Transect # or Sub-Quadrat # : ________________

Tree Number

DBH

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Transect # or Sub-Quadrat # : ________________

Tree Number

DBH

Total Trees: _________ Density: _________ Importance Value: ___________

Average DBH: _________ Basal Area: _________

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TTE – Journals ….Format
Table of Contents (leave 1 - 2 blank pages for this) Date 3/1/06 3/2/06 3/3/06 Activity Tropical Ecosystems – class notes BioPlot work on quadrats Kritcher, “Ecological Disturbance”, Ecology, 4/04, Reading Response Page # 1-2 3-4 5

(Journal Page for outdoor research) Date: 03/01/06 Location: EE Reserve, QR Mexico “BioPlot” Habitat: Semi-Deciduous Dry Forest Time: 8:30 AM Temp: 820 Humidity: 75% (Your Notes, Sketches, Data, Comments ….) (Journal Page for Reading Response) Title: Ecological Disturbance Author: Kritcher Publication: Ecology – April, 2004 Page 5 Page 3

(Your thoughts on the topic and connections to our course work.)

What did you learn? What does this article make you think about? How might it “influence” you in this course?

1. The journal acts as a record of your academic / research activities and should include: class notes, field observations & data, sketches, reading notes and response/ reflection to articles assigned. 2. Each entry should be marked by the date and begin on a new page. Number each page and use the format for the “type” of entry as shown above. 3. The journal should be organized and not cramped! Include diagrams, sketches, & maps where appropriate. Thoroughness and accuracy ARE important.

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Tropical Field Ecology “Socratic Seminar” Some questions to consider…… (1) What is biological diversity? (2)How do we categorize / measure biological diversity? (3) Should we “manage” biological diversity? If so, how do we decide at what scale (species? landscape?)? Triage (species? habitat?)? (4) As biologists; is educating others about conservation an opportunity or an obligation?

Categories currently being used to justify special conservation efforts: * keystone species * umbrella species * flagship (charismatic)species * indicator species * vulnerable / threatened /endangered “S.L.O.S.S.” Biologically what does “rare” mean / imply? • • • • thermodynamics / top predator restricted to specific habitat and sometimes a rare interloper in other habitat difficult to observe / census population in preferred habitat is decreasing or diminishing

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Field Guides & Text Recommendations: Bird Guides: 1. A Guide to the Birds of Mexico; Howell & Webb 2. Mexican Birds / Peterson Field Guide Series 3. The Birds of Mexico & Adjacent Areas; Ernest Preston Edwards * Keep in mind that a good North American Bird guide is good to have during the Fall and Winter seasons in the tropics. North American “migratory birds” have returned home to the tropics. Mammals: 1. Mammals of Central America & Southeast Mexico; Fiona Reid 2. Neotropical Rainforest Mammals, A Field Guide; Louise Emmons Amphibians & Reptiles: 1. A Field Guide to the Amphibians & Reptiles of the Maya World; Julian Lee 2. Amphibians & Reptiles of the Yucatan, Belize, & Guatemala; Campbell Plants / Trees: There are some but most are very technical. Given the abundance and variety of plants this is a tough one to make any good general recommendations. If interested in any technical ones, contact me and I will send references. For the Yucatan, several “tree guides” to Florida are a good beginning. 1. The Trees of Florida; Gil Nelson 2. Trees For Florida and the Subtropics; Fred & Patricia Walden Texts on Tropical Ecology: 1. A Neotropical Comanion; J. Kritcher 2. Tropical Nature; Forsyth & Miyata 3. The Tapir’s Morning Bath, Elizabeth Royte

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In the field Bambi’s are based on the “tradition” of STRI students communicating their questions, adventures, and preliminary findings regarding their research projects to peers. Bambi’s are ….. informal seminars that are scheduled for the end of the field projects. Students prepare their initial findings and new questions to present to their peers during a “poster session” as part of a final wrap-up of their work together in the field. * (See the following page for a Poster Session format) About STRI The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution (STRI) in Panama is the only bureau of the Smithsonian Institution based outside of the United States and is dedicated to understanding biological diversity. What began in 1923 as small field station on Barro Colorado Island, in the Panama Canal Zone, has developed into one of the leading research institutions of the world. STRI’s facilities provide a unique opportunity for long-term ecological studies in the tropics, and are used extensively by some 900 visiting scientists from academic and research institutions in the United States and around the world every year. The work of the resident scientists and students has allowed us to: a. better understand tropical habitats and, b. has trained hundreds of tropical biologists. STRI is dedicated to understanding tropical nature through research. Research is a fundamental enterprise that is rooted in simple human curiosity. By observing patterns in nature, by imagining the possible processes that could explain their origin and persistence, by doing experiments or making more observations that cast doubt on some of these possibilities and affirm others, we arrive at an ever changing and ever better understanding of how and why nature is as we see it. Research is intellectually and at times emotionally exciting. It is a creative, risky, difficult, totally consuming and immensely rewarding activity. This spirit of discovery and the quest to understand unite STRI and all field biology students. They define us as a community regardless of our particular interests, field of study or methodological approach. The described methods, field protocols, and tools are diverse - ranging from no more than a pair of binoculars, a DBH tape & transect, paper and pencil to study animal behavior & plant communities, to the most advanced and sophisticated Geospatial equipment / technology necessary to study local and global conservation biology topics.

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HabitatNet Tropical Conservation Biology: Scientific Poster Session Good science means good questions! Keep in mind that you are presenting “new knowledge” – knowledge that you acquired through your field research. 1. What did you want to know? 2. What did you expect? 3. “How” do you know it when you found it?

Format – Introduction, Methods, Results, And Discussion Scientific Poster Session Format: (poster board, file folder or a PowerPoint slide)

Title: ____________________________ Contributors: ____________________ Abstract: (a brief paragraph that includes your question and hypothesis) Introduction & Methods ( What did you do? How did you do it?) Experimental Results: (data – statistics, as well as your interpretation of it ; photographs, additional data / graphs) Analysis of Results & Discussion: (What did your experimental results allow you to state? ( your interpretation - give the evidence) New questions?) Credits: ( resources used)

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Digalo en Maya! Say it in Maya! Digalo en Espanol! Maya DIOS BOTIC dee-os-bow-teek MIX’ BAH meesh-bah English THANK YOU NOTHING Espanol GRACIAS NADA

BIXA’KA’BAH? WHAT’S YOUR NAME? COMO TE LLAMAS? beesh-ah-kah-bah BIX ABEL beesh-ah-bell MA’LO mah-lo IN LAK ECK ing- lek-ehtch HOW ARE YOU? COMO ESTAS?

FINE / GOOD

BIEN ERES MI AMIGO

YOU ARE MY FRIEND

Useful Spanish Phrases Basics
Yes Si No No Please Por favor You’re welcome. De nada No thank you. No gracias Sorry Perdone

Greetings
Goodbye Adios Hello Hola How are you? Como esta usted? Very well, thank you. Muy bein gracias. See you soon. Hasta luego. That’s all right. Esta bien. Good morning. Buenas dias. Good afternoon. Buenas tardes. Good evening. Bueanas noches.

Days of the week
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Domingo Lunes Martes Miercoles Jueves Viernes Sabado 1 uno 2 dos 3 tres 4 cuatro 5 cinco 6 seis 7 siete

Numbers
8 ocho 9 nueva 10 diez 11 once 12 doce 13 trece 14 catorce 15 quinca 16 dieciseis 17 diecsiseite 18 dieciocho 19 diecinueve 20 veinte

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Questions
Where is the bathroom? Where is / are? When? Why? What? How much? What is the matter? Do you speak English? I don’t speak Spanish. Donda esta el banyo? Donde esta? /estan? Cuando? Por que? Que? Cuante es? Que pasa? Habla Ingles? No habla Espanol.

Statements
I (don’t) like. I don’t know. I’m hungry / thirsty. I’m ready. It’s cold /hot One minute please. One moment please. I don’t understand. Please speak slowly. (No) Me gusta. No se. Tengo hambre /sed Estoy listo. Hace frio / calor. Uno minuto por favor. Uno momento por favor. No entiendo. Hsbla despacio por favor.