Thursday, October 30, 2014

Restoration fieldwork on the Kenyan coast - Gede Ruins

Back in coastal Kenya for a few weeks to continue fieldwork in a restored forest in the Gede Ruins National Monument. Continuing a collaboration with David Macfarlane of Michigan State University and Colin Jackson of A Rocha Kenya, I'm here collecting arthropod diversity data in plots within a forest that was restored with native tree species over twenty years ago. I'm focusing this time on plots that contain volunteer Neem trees --- an exotic species from India that has been proposed as a species suitable for timber production in Kenya plantations. Data collected at the site last year suggest that higher percentages of above ground carbon comprised of Neem is correlated with higher ratios of flying to ground-dwelling arthropods. Over the next ten days we'll be collecting more data to see whether or not this pattern holds up with more replication. if it does, it could have important implications for how we view the presence of introduced species in restoration areas.