Treetop Biodiversity

Session 3

Treetop Biodiversity – 4 credits PCB4460

Come join us for some extreme botany! This course partners with Gainesville’s Danny Lyons and Canopy Climbers to provide a unique field research experience: we’ll climb and sample botanical diversity in the treetops!

The forest canopy, especially in tropical and subtropical regions, hosts a rich diversity of life. Epiphytic vascular plants (those growing among the branches of larger plants, such as trees) may represent as much as 10% of all plant species on Earth, and non-vascular plants are abundant in the moist and shaded regions of the treetops. Botanists have only begun to catalog canopy diversity in the last few decades, since collection methods have become safer and easier to use. After a literature review and discussion of hypotheses, we’ll design our own vertical transects, then visit three habitats (the hydric hammock, a cypress dome, and a tropical hardwood hammock – locations TBA) to climb trees and survey canopy botanical diversity. Each field trip will be followed by laboratory time to identify and produce voucher specimens of the plants we collect.

Danny Lyons and Canopy Climbers will provide the tree climbing equipment and all climbing and safety training.

Tentative course schedule

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
1: March 26-30 Introduction

1 hour meeting

Time/location TBA based on mutual agreement

Discussion of readings

2 hour meeting in Carr 110, time TBA based on mutual agreement, during range of periods 3-9

Read/work on your own Hypothesis generation and experimental design

2 hour meeting in Carr 110, time TBA based on mutual agreement, during range of periods 3-9

Mini symposium 

1 hour meeting

Time/location TBA based on mutual agreement

2:   April 2-6 Climbing and sampling    Overnight field trip to begin on Sunday Open lab hours in Carr 110 – periods 3-9 – come to complete required work during a time that works best for you Read/work on your own Open lab hours in Carr 110 – periods 3-9 – come to complete required work during a time that works best for you Mini symposium 

1 hour meeting

Time/location​ TBA based on mutual agreement

3: April 9-13 Climbing and sampling    Overnight field trip to begin on Sunday Open lab hours in Carr 110 – periods 3-9 – come to complete required work during a time that works best for you Read/work on your own Open lab hours in Carr 110 – periods 3-9 – come to complete required work during a time that works best for you Mini symposium 

1 hour meeting

Time/location​ TBA based on mutual agreement

4: April 16-20 Climbing and sampling            Local trip, no overnight stay Open lab hours in Carr 110 – periods 3-9 – come to complete required work during a time that works best for you Read/work on your own Open lab hours in Carr 110 – periods 3-9 – come to complete required work during a time that works best for you Mini symposium 

1 hour meeting

Time/location​ TBA based on mutual agreement

5: April 23-25 Read/work on your own Open lab hours in Carr 110 – periods 3-9 – come to complete required work during a time that works best for you Final symposium 

1 hour meeting

Time/location​ TBA based on mutual agreement

Instructors: Christine Davis | 614 Carr Hall | christine.davis@ufl.edu  & Norm Douglas | 618A Carr Hall | nadouglas@ufl.edu

Format: Research projects, lab meetings, and fieldtrips.

Required Text: None

Expected Costs: $650 including lodging, climbing equipment, lab supplies, field trips.

This course has a limited number of seats –apply today to ensure your spot! To apply click this link: here! 

Applications are due Friday, November 17th, 2017 by 11:59pm.