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Species of accidental woody epiphytes vary between host trees in Tasmanian wet forests


Winoto-Lewin, Y and Kirkpatrick, JB, Species of accidental woody epiphytes vary between host trees in Tasmanian wet forests, Australian Journal of Botany, 68, (8) pp. 532-541. ISSN 0067-1924 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Journal compilation copyright CSIRO 2020

DOI: doi:10.1071/BT19104


Little is known about accidental epiphytes in Australian temperate forests. In western Tasmania, we determined whether: (1) the occurrence and abundance of accidental epiphytes increases with moisture availability and the size of host; (2) the species of host affects the occurrence of individual taxa of accidental epiphytes; (3) moist microhabitats favour accidental epiphytes. We recorded the accidental woody epiphytes on 21 trees in each of 20 locations and measured attributes of the host and the location and attachment height of the individual epiphytes. Epiphyte occurrence, but not abundance, was associated with the basal area of host tree, January rainfall and the taxon of the host. Eucalypts, gymnosperms and tree ferns were the outstanding hosts. The rainforest tree Nothofagus cunninghamii occurred as an epiphyte on eucalypts more than expected, while Proteaceae species occurred less than expected. In contrast, there was a strong positive association between the gymnosperm Athrotaxis selaginoides as a host and Proteaceae as epiphytes, possible reflecting their joint status as palaeoendemics. Accidental epiphytes were concentrated on the west and south-west of trees and near their bases, further indicating a strong effect of moisture availability on their occurrence. Our results reinforce the importance of conserving old growth forest to maintain ecosystem complexity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:accidental epiphytes, ecosystem complexity, eucalypts, forest canopy, gymnosperms, Nothofagus, old growth forest, Phyllocladus aspleniifolius, palaeoendemics, Proteaceae, wet forest, Tasmania
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Winoto-Lewin, Y (Ms Suyanti Winoto-Lewin)
UTAS Author:Kirkpatrick, JB (Professor James Kirkpatrick)
ID Code:143390
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2021-03-15
Last Modified:2021-09-28

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