Common Name: Trumpet Tree
Latin Name: cecropia obtusifolia
Family: Urticaceae

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Range and Abundance
Pacific and Atlantic coasts of Mexico to South America. Maximum altitude 800 m. Cecreopia are fast growing and thus are some of the most abundant trees in the rainforest.

Coloration and Morphology
Green Leaves, gray/white bark. Green buds.
20-35 m. First order branches same diameter as trunk. Females produce inflorescence buds in clusters of 3-5, approximately 12-21 cm long. Leaves long and finger shaped in clusters of 7-10.

Reproductive cycle:
Individuals are able to reproduce after three years. C. obtusifolia produces thin buds that contain more seeds as the plant matures. C. obtusifolia produces these flower buds throughout the year. Studies indicate that fecundity is negatively affected by the presence of other nearby members of the same species

C. obtusifolia is a neotropical pioneer species. Though found in old growth forests, C. obtusifolia is more common in secondary forests. C. obtusifolia requires ample rainfall, sunlight, and warmth.

C. obtusifoli is a dioecious pioneer species. While seedling mortality is at 99%, those that are deposited in gaps in the forest are successful because of their fast growth. Because of this, C. obtusifolia is invasive to neotropical like climates such as Hawaii

Interactions with other Species:
C. obtusifolia has been demonstrated to successfully host Azteca ants. Ant presence has been linked with reduced herbivory on the C. obtusifolia. The ants are also able to remove vines from saplings. In exchange, the ants nest in the C. obtusifolia.

Personal Experience:
There were many C. obtusifolia at La Selva. There was a particularly impressive one by the river, approximately thirty yards from the bridge near the soccer field that inspired me to choose the trumpet tree as my species.

Forests Elena R. Alvarez-Buylla and Miguel Martinez-Ramo (1992) Demography and Allometry of Cecropia Obtusifolia, a Neotropical Pioneer Tree - An Evaluation of the Climax-Pioneer Paradigm for Tropical Rain s Journal of Ecology , Vol. 80, No. 2 (Jun., 1992), pp. 275-290

Epperson and Alvarez-Buylla (1997) Limited Seed Dispersal and Genetic Structure in Life Stages of Cecropia obtusifolia
Evolution , Vol. 51, No. 1 (Feb., 1997), pp. 275-282

Valverde, J. Pablo (2011) Parenchyma: a neglected plant tissue in the Cecropia/ant mutualism. Symbiosis