I study decomposition in aquatic systems, and most research in this area focuses on leaves as the major source of outside input of organic matter into these systems. However, in tropical systems, flower and fruit material can make up a substantial portion of OM input in streams, as discuss in Tropical Steam Ecology and evidenced in this photograph.
While sampling, flower parts rained into Rio Camarones in Sirena, completely covering the surface. And, just like in Ohio, the stream was filled with abundant crustaceans, probably acting as shredders!
|Probably the best day in Osa was when we sampled two streams feeding Rio Sirena and traveled to the streams via this boat. We saw a tapir, we caught snapper, we saw squirrel monkeys, a bat falcon taking a Costa Rican Swallow, bull sharks, and American crocodiles – and, of course, successfully sampled two streams.|