Methods and Materials

11.2.1 Study Area

The study area is located in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, in the South of Ticul hills (20°01’7"-20°09’36" N, 89°35’59"-89°23’31" W) (Fig. 11.1). The region encompasses TDF classified as Medium Stature Semi-Deciduous Forest where the majority of plant species (50-75 %) drop their leaves during the dry season (Miranda and Hernandez 1963). The climate is tropical, warm, subhumid, with a mean annual temperature of 26 °C and mean annual precipitation of approximately 1,000-1,200 mm, concentrated between May and October, and a marked dry season between November and April. The landscape consists of limestone hills alternating with flat areas, and the elevation ranges from 60 to 160 m a. s.l. (Flores and Espejel 1994). The landscape is dominated by secondary forests with different age of abandonment, patches of agricultural areas (mainly under slash-and-burn shifting cultivation, i. e., milpa), and rural settlements (Dupuy et al. 2011).