Is Mora Taking Over? Testing the Limits to the Invasive Ability of Mora excelsa Benth. A Pilot Study

Michael P. Oatham, Doreen Jodhan

Abstract


It is thought that the tropical tree Mora excelsa may be an invader of the high diversity Mixed Forest in Trinidad, reducing the diversity of the Mixed Forest, dominating the canopy and creating a stable Mora Forest type. A pilot transplant study was conducted in the Victoria-Mayaro Forest Reserve to assess if Mora excelsa seeds could survive post dispersal predation and germinate, and if the resulting seedlings could grow in a Mixed Forest adjacent to a Mora Forest. This would indicate if mora has the potential to expand beyond the current boundaries between the forest types. The transplant experiment showed mora seeds could germinate in Mixed Forest albeit in half the numbers that they could in the Mora Forest. It also showed the mora seedlings could grow in the Mixed Forest. It was concluded that mora could potentially invade adjacent neighbouring Mixed Forest at least up to the seedling stage, and could expand the extent of the Mora Forest type.


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References


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