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Pre- and Post-Hurricane Fruit Availability: Implications for Puerto Rican Parrots in the Luquillo Mountains.Author(s): JR WUNDERLE
Source: Caribbean Journal of Science, Vol. 35, No. 3-4, 249-264,
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionFruit availability on 25 plant species, consumed or potentially consumed by the Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona vittata), was studied to document the seasonal and annual variation in fruit production in the Luquillo Mountains. In the 33 months before Hurricane Hugo, an annual cycle in the number of species with ripe fruit was evident, with a peak in October-February and a trough during June-July. About half the plant species showed this annual fruiting cycle. Irregular noncyclic fruiting was found in the other half, and varied among species in annual duration. Fruit production reached its lowest point in October 1989, just after Hurricane Hugo, when 72% of the broadleaf foliage was lost and only one species had ripe fruit. The number of fruiting species subsequently increased, but the cyclic fruiting pattern, evident in the number of fruiting species before the storm, disappeared and was not observed during 27 months after the storm. This noncyclic pattern was attributed mostly to species with annual fruiting cycles in which annual fruiting shifted out of phase, was suppressed after the hurricane, or both. Parrot breeding was associated with fruiting, as breeding occurred during fruiting peaks before the storm, and was delayed in the first season after the storm, but returned to normal by the second season. Thus parrots faced considerable annual and year-to-year variation in fruit availability prior to the hurricane, and substantial fruit loss afterwards, followed by a recovery involving changes in fruiting phenology of individual species and the overall community.
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CitationWUNDERLE, JR, JOSEPH M. 1999. Pre- and Post-Hurricane Fruit Availability: Implications for Puerto Rican Parrots in the Luquillo Mountains. Caribbean Journal of Science, Vol. 35, No. 3-4, 249-264,
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