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Dipteryx panamensis is a large canopy emergent tree found in primary forest that belongs to the Fabaceae family, sub family Papillionoideae. D. panamensis is endemic in lowland wet tropical ranging from Nicaragua to Colombia on the Atlantic side (Fournier 2003). When flowering the tree produces millions of pink lavender flowers with a distinct odor similar to sweet peas. The flowers are pollinated by at least 13 species of medium-to-large opportunistic bees but the flowers are known to be visited by 20 different species of bees (McDade 1994). D. panamensis produces single-seeded green drupes encased in a thick woody endocarp that are dispersed by a wide range of mammals. The Great Green Macaw and three rodent species also act as seed predators on the fruit of D. panamensis (De Steven & Putz 1984). D. panamensis is classified as a keystone species because of its fruiting during a time of food scarcity for frugivorous animals (Hanson et al. 2006). D. panamensis is currently classified as an endangered species according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES 2014). 

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© Zoe Gerber

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