Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Evaluando a los rompe vientos como una estrategia de conservación para las comunidades de polinizadores en los paisajes alterados y fragmentados


Anna Gouznova



Download Full Text (248 KB)

Publication Date

May 2007


In Costa Rica, sustaining human population growth has required fragmentation and conversion of its Tropical landscape to an agricultural one. Such large scale land use changes decrease local abundance of species and disrupt important ecological relationships, including species richness and productivity within pollinator communities (Kearns et al. 1997). Pollinators are essential in maintaining stability of plant communities and their dependent consumers. Moreover, in specialized pollinator-host plant mutualisms, the loss of either will reduce or eradicate population of the other. To counter effects of habitat fragmentation, agricultural communities incorporated windbreaks into crop fields and pastures as a restorative effort. I evaluate the performance of windbreaks as repository for pollinators in the San Luis Valley of Puntarenas, Costa Rica by assessing richness and abundance of both pollinator and insect communities within three distinct windbreaks and a bordering secondary growth forest. Pollinator species richness was highest in the forest (H`= 3.72), along with superior numbers of families and individuals. Two species of non-insect pollinators, hummingbirds Amazilla tzacatl and Hylocharis eliciae, were never seen in the forest but regularly in two of the three windbreaks. The two sites, one in a shade grown, Coffea arabica (Rubiaceae) farm and the second, in a pasture, supported comparable species richness (H` = 2.65 and H` = 2.93), and while a slightly lower amount of individuals was collected in the farm site, it contained nine more families than the pasture. In the same pasture, the third windbreak exhibited lowest diversity (H` = 2.65), and nearly half the number of families and individuals found in the first, neighboring pasture site. Higher pollinator richness and abundance correlated with lower mean temperatures of about 26˚C and wind speeds in the range of 0.38 m/s - 0.9 m/s. Overall, structural attributes, including plant species composition, presence of bodies of water and abiotic conditions, determined a windbreak’s capacity to retain pollinators in an altered landscape.


Evalué el funcionamiento de los rompe vientos como deposito para los polinizadores en el Valle de San Luis, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Determiné la evaluación de la riqueza y abundancia de los polinizadores y de las comunidades de insectos dentro de los tres distintos rompe vientos rodeado del bosque secundario en crecimiento.


Fragmented landscapes, Windbreaks shelterbelts etc., Hummingbirds, CIEE Spring 2007

Palabras claves

Paisajes fragmentados, Rompe vientos corta vientos etc., Colibríes, CIEE Primavera 2007


18 pages

Geographic Location

San Luis (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute


English; Spanish

Media Type



Digital Only





Evaluating windbreaks as a conservation strategy for pollinator communities in altered and fragmented landscapes, May 2007



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.