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Student Research Projects

Research on tropical and temperate species of harvestmen

Student Rebecca Hunter
Faculty Mentor(s) Dr. Victor Townsend
Department Biology
Course BIO 489: Research in Natural Sciences

Abstract

During the summer of 2005, I conducted research to help us gain insight on the natural history of harvestmen in the Northern Range of Trinidad, W.I. I examined the use of tree buttresses, parental care, feeding, and aggregation behavior of neotropical harvestmen. This study is the first to provide knowledge regarding the behavior and ecology of these animals in Trinidad.

For comparative purposes, I also examined and compared the use of trees by harvestmen in temperate forests of Virginia with the use of trees by tropical species in the crappo-cocorite forests of Trinidad. I compared four different types of vegetation, and was able to determine that the harvestmen prefer to inhabit saplings over annual or perennial plants. This data represents a useful contribution to the study of the ecology of harvestmen.

 

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