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Association of vascular epiphytes with landscape units and phorophytes in humid lowland forests of Colombian Amazonia

  • A. M. Benavides (a1) (a2), A. Vasco (a3), A. J. Duque (a4) and J. F. Duivenvoorden (a1)


The species composition of vascular epiphytes and phorophytes (trees and lianas) was studied in ten 0.1-ha forest plots distributed over three landscape units (floodplains, swamps and well-drained uplands) in Colombian Amazonia. The aim was to analyse how host-preferences contributed to the patterns in epiphyte assemblages among the landscape units. In the plots 82 species (3310 plants) were holo-epiphytes, 11 species were primary hemi-epiphytes (179 plants) and 61 were secondary hemi-epiphytes (2337 plants). A total of 411 species of tree and liana were recorded as phorophytes. Detrended Correspondence Analysis and Mantel tests showed that the species composition of holo-epiphytes and secondary hemi-epiphytes differed among the landscape units. For both groups the effect of landscape unit on species composition strongly decreased after controlling for the phorophyte composition in the plots. The phorophyte composition significantly explained epiphyte composition and this effect was not removed after accounting for the effect of landscape unit. At the level of individual species, randomization tests yielded only few significant epiphyte–phorophyte associations. For 84% of the epiphyte species the average indicator of patchiness was below 1.5 demonstrating that most epiphyte individuals occurred scattered over different phorophytes. This probably hampered the analyses of host preferences for individual epiphyte species.


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Association of vascular epiphytes with landscape units and phorophytes in humid lowland forests of Colombian Amazonia

  • A. M. Benavides (a1) (a2), A. Vasco (a3), A. J. Duque (a4) and J. F. Duivenvoorden (a1)


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