Species diversity in Guam’s limestone forests is extremely limited. In order to account the number of species available in comparison to the Panama tropical rainforests, data gathered from of 20x20 plots were recorded. Throughout this study, factors for Guam’s limited species diversity may be generalized but not fully confirmed. Overall the main purpose is to get an idea of what type of species are available in the limestone forests, as well as provide data for researchers to pursue further studies as to why species are so limited here on this island.
Tropical rainforests, along with temperate ones, are the most complex biomes on earth. This is due to the ...view middle of the document...
Islands are too far and it may take too long for tree seedlings to travel from its source, arrive on shore, and adapt to local soil before they die. Limited seed dispersal can also be a factor (Anitei 2006).
The overall purpose of this study is to record the types of species and diversity of Guam’s limestone forest compared to the tropical forests, Sherman and Cocoli, found in Panama. By documenting the data of tree species gathered, researchers will be able to use it to represent all limestone forests here in Guam for further studies. The simple question posed here is if Guam’s limestone forests have lesser species diversity than that of the two tropical forests in Panama. An explanation for this hypothesis, including those mentioned earlier, is that Guam has frequent typhoons and it is hard for trees to survive.
Materials and Methods
This study was carried out in the limestone forest located behind the University of Guam, adjacent to the School of Business. This area experiences humid temperatures that range from low 70s to mid 80s with the usual annual mean of 81 degrees. It also undergoes both dry and rainy seasons. The annual rainfall totals 80-110 inches.
About 8 plots, measuring 20x20 meters, were established and examined. The widest branch of each tree tagged within the plots along the cliff line was measured in diameter of breast height. Along with the d.b.h., specie names and estimated coordinates for each tree were recorded as well. All data gathered were then combined on an excel spreadsheet and graphed.
Among 300 possible trees within the plots, a total of 222 trees from the established plots were recorded. Total mean tree diameter came to about 64.8018mm. Tree diameter ranged from 10mm to 350mm. In order to make accurate graphs, the total eight plots have been combined to one entire plot and graphed accordingly to diameter range. Diameter range has been broken down to intervals of 50mm.
The data to present my hypothesis are detailed in the following graph:
Total species accounted for in each...