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Epiphyte assemblages respond to host life-form independently of variation in microclimate in lower montane cloud forest in Panama

Citation

Sanger, JC and Kirkpatrick, JB, Epiphyte assemblages respond to host life-form independently of variation in microclimate in lower montane cloud forest in Panama, Journal of Tropical Ecology, 30, (6) pp. 625-628. ISSN 0266-4674 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Cambridge Univerity Press

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0266467414000492

Abstract

We investigated the effects of host tree on epiphyte diversity, controlling for microclimate. We measured the light profiles of the lower trunks of 20 individuals, each from three host groups (tree ferns, dicots, palms) occupying the understorey in a tropical montane forest in Panama. The per cent cover and species richness of vascular and nonvascular epiphytes were surveyed on the lower trunks of each understorey host. Light varied considerably between trees (521% total transmitted light) but mean light level did not vary between types of host. Light was not significant as a covariate with host in any model. Tree ferns had higher covers than dicots and palms of filmy ferns (15%, 0.02% and 0.2%), other ferns (7%, 0% and 0.5%) and other vascular epiphytes (16%, 3% and 3.4%), and greater species richness of vascular epiphytes (filmy ferns: 3, 0.4 and 0.5; other ferns: 2, 0.2 and 0; other vascular: 7, 2 and 2). Dicots had a higher cover of liverworts (53%) than palms (18%) and tree ferns (27%). Palms and tree ferns were the compositional extremes. We conclude that the differences in species composition and cover between the three host groups relate better to physical differences between hosts than differences in light climate.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:bryophytes, community assembly, dicots, host preference, light environment, palms, Panama, tree ferns, vascular epiphytes
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial Ecology
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Objective Field:Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of environments not elsewhere classified
Author:Sanger, JC (Ms Jennifer Sanger)
Author:Kirkpatrick, JB (Professor James Kirkpatrick)
ID Code:95492
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2014-10-02
Last Modified:2017-11-03
Downloads:0

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