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Abstract Detail

Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions

Bradley, Kelly A. [1], Harrigan, Natasha [2], Clubbe, Colin [3], Corcoran, Marcella [3], Dani Sanchez, Michele [3], Hamilton, Martin Allen [3].

Multidisciplinary approaches to biodiversity conservation: Studying an island based iguana-flora relationship in the Caribbean.

The Caribbean island of Anegada, one of the British Virgin Islands, was recently designated a Tropical Important Plant Area due to the presence of threatened plant species and habitats. The island is also home to the Critically Endangered Anegada rock iguana, Cyclura pinguis. This herbivorous lizard is dependent on the plants that make up the tropical dry forests on the island for food and cover. Lizards are important seed dispersers for many species of plants, especially on islands, but data are lacking regarding how Cyclura pinguis maintains its habitat through seed dispersal. Also unknown is what the true impact of the declining iguana population will have on the plant communities and threatened species in the future, particularly as there are many feral ungulates on the island. A multidisciplinary team are undertaking field surveys and using camera trapping, captive feeding and gut passage studies, and germination trials to gather the necessary data to understand the importance of the iguana as a seed disperser on a range of plant species. This includes the federally listed and Endangered Boraginaceae shrub, Varronia rupicola, the populations of which are being used to identify areas for iguana surveys and potential release sites. Findings of our initial work on the iguana-flora relationship are presented and how this relationship may influence broader conservation issues is discussed.

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1 - Fort Worth Zoo, 1989 Colonial Parkway, Fort Worth, TX, 76110, USA
2 - National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands, J.R. O'Neal Botanic Gardens, Botanic Station , Road Town, Virgin Islands, UK
3 - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Conservation Science, The Herbarium, Kew Green, Richmond, TW93AE, UK

plant-animal interactions
Threatened species
seed dispersal.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions
Location: Exhibit Hall/Omni Hotel
Date: Monday, June 26th, 2017
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PSM004
Abstract ID:381
Candidate for Awards:None

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