MO2 D02

Ernesto Reyes 091

General Information for the case study: if you would like access to this data set, please email your country office via the contact page

WRL reference M02 D02
Module M02 Survey Techniques
Data Set D02 Assessing bird point counts from a Honduran cloud forest
Research questions
  1. How does species richness change with increasing altitude?
  2. How does the proportion of endemic species change with increasing altitude?
  3. Do you think high altitude or low altitude forest is more important for the conservation of Mesoamerican birds?
Keywords Abiotic; biotic; Endemism; biodiversity hotspots; indicators; isolation; conservation; human impact; niche; rainforest; sampling; species richness; survey techniques
Potential Curriculum links AP Biology 2.D.1, 4.A.6, 4.C.4
AP Env.Sci III Population A
IB Biology C.1, C.5
IB Ess 2.3.2
AQA 3.4.6, 3.4.7, 3.7.4, MS, AT, PS
edexcel A – 4.2, 4.3, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, B – 10.1, 10.3 Maths A
OCR A – 4.2.1, 6.3.1, 6.3.2 – M, PAG, HSW
SQA FH2J 3 (b) (c) (i) (ii) (iii) (iv), HOAL 1(b) (c) (d) (e)
CCEA  4.4.3
WJEC C1-5, C2 -1, App B, Pract.req.

The forests of Mesoamerica are a biodiversity ‘hotspot’ and this study describes how the populations of birds are assessed.  The field site is in the cloud forests of Honduras and involve data collected using a ‘point count’ method.  The study looks at species richness, proportion of endemic species and how altitude affects the populations of birds in Mesoamerica.  The exercise involves constructing scatter plots with trend lines.

Difficulty: 6/10 (overall)