3. Carr, Archie. 1953. ̉The Weeping Woods". In, High Jungles and Low. Gainseville, University Press of Florida.
1. In which season does Carr begin his description? verano, the dry season Carr is describing a location that would have a climagraph similar to that of Tegucigalpa. You should look at that climagraph.
2. Type "Zamarano, Honduras" in Google Earth and you will see that valley and surrounding mountains that he is describing. Carr worked at the Escuela Panamericano in the Zamarano Valley.
3. Note that Carr mentions the clouds carried by Trade Winds to those peaks.
is the change in forest trees/type as he ascends from the valley to the peaks?
Carr describes a transect that encounters as he climbs out of the valley. In the valley low growing chapparal grows. As he begins to traverse the foothills he enters the open pine forest. Open refers to the wide spacing between trees. Carr correctly calls this open pine forest an ocotal. It persists for a "couple thousand of feet". The pine trees get larger and more dense as elevation increases because of a gradual increase in available moisture. Above the ocotal is the forest which is a mixture of pines and liquidambar. The appearance of liquidambar suggests that the cloud forest is nearby, just a little bit higher up.
5. What does type of forest is montana? cloud forest Where are the montanas? Near the tops of Southern Mexico and Central America's mountain tops. They begin at about 1800m of elevation and exist as highland terrestrial islands..
6. What happens to the amount of precipitation as he ascends to the cloud forest? It increases.
7. Ocotal is place name in Middle America that means "place of the pines". Ocote is a common name for one of the several species of pine trees that grow naturally in southern Mexico Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Belize and Nicaragua. "al" or "ar" is a suffix that means "place of".
8. What does Carr mean when he says that "the transition areas between these vertical zones is the equivalent of many miles of latitude"? In the tropics, increases in elevation create decreases in temperatures so that physical environments (climate and vegetation) are similar to those found at higher latitudes.
Pinabetal = "place of the pinabete pine tree".
10. Guamil = crop land that has been fallowed. You'll learn more about guamil later this semester.
11. Carr was a naturalist so he included many names of the local flora and fauna. Only pay attention to those that I mention in these questions/notes.
12. Notice how lush the cloud forest is in comparison to the parched valley below. This is possible because of greater moisture on those high peaks.
13. In several places Carr uses the word disjunct to describe the distribution of could forests. Why is that word correct?
According to my Mac dictionary, disjunct means, "disjoined and distinct from one another. Central America and southern Mexico do not contain a continuous mountain chain like the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Central America and southern Mexico are comprised of a complicated jumble of volcanic highlands separated by deep lowlands. Thus, the highlands on which cloud forests grow are not connected to each other. They are disconnected highland forest islands separated by lowlands which support very different vegetation communities.
14. What are epiphytes? Epiphytes are plants that anchor themselves to forest tree trunks and branches where they catch falling water and tree litter. They are not parasites which take nutrients from the plants that support them. Note their distribution and density in the montana. Epiphytes occur in high density in the montana. Regularly, they completely cover a tree's branches and trunk.
15. In what form do cloud forests get their water? Cloud forests strip moisture from the clouds that the Trade Winds blow across them. Bates says that these forests receive water in the gaseous state as water vapor. That is partially true. However, the moisture that cloud forests also strip out of clouds is primarily in the liquid state.
16. Why does Carr state that epiphytes are the "dominant plants of the cloud forest"? Because of their ability at harvesting moisture and because of the how they cover so much of the trunks and branches of trees.
17. What feature of the cloud forest did Carr find to be "striking"? The lack of animals. Why? He figured that such a lush environment would support many species of wildlife.
18. What is a bromeliad? "epiphytic water-storing plant of the pineapple family"
19. Why would a herpetologist be disappointed in the montana? This environment has few species of snakes, salamanders, frogs, lizards...
does Carr explain the "infrequent occurrence" of the quetzal? What
is the role of topography and human activities in this? Quetzals are
non-migratory inhabitants of the tropical montane forests. Carr suggests
that require a "continuous supply of small fruits". Tropical
montane forests, however, exist as widely spaced islands of forest rather than
as continuous forests. Carr thought that some forest islands were not large
enough to supply enough food for quetzals. Increasing clearance of forests by
humans further restricts quetzals too limited patches of forest.
11 to p. 16.
21. 21. Here are a couple of good sites about the quetzal.
22. With what evidence does Carr base his claim that quetzals are "prisoners"? Quetzals do not migrate. They are stuck in their forest patches.
23. How do clearance of forest for agriculture, blackberry tangles and peccaries explain the presence or absence of tamagas? Humans clear forest for agriculture. After a few years they fallow the land and blackberry tangles colonize the former milpa. Peccaries are attracted to such environments for food and shelter. If any tamagas are present in the blackberries, or forest nearby, the peccaries will kill them. Thus, tamagas are more abundant where forests are large and they can exist far away from the fringes where the peccaries roam.
24. Why do you think Carr called this chapter The Weeping Woods"? Because tropical montane forests in the interior of Central America and southern Mexico are moist year round, even during the dry season.