Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

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

  • Jennifer C. Sanger (a1) and James B. Kirkpatrick (a1)

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 non-vascular epiphytes were surveyed on the lower trunks of each understorey host. Light varied considerably between trees (5–21% 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.

Copyright

Corresponding author

1Corresponding author. Email: jennifer.sanger@utas.edu.au

References

Hide All
ANDERSON, M. J. 2001. A new method for non-parametric multivariate analysis of variance. Austral Ecology 26:3246.
ARRIAGA, L. 1988. Gap dynamics of a tropical cloud forest in northeastern Mexico. Biotropica 20:178184.
BENZING, D. H. 2004. Vascular epiphytes. Pp. 176211 in Lowman, M. D. & Rinker, H. B. (eds.). Forest canopies. Elsevier, San Diego.
CALLAWAY, R. M., REINHART, K. O., MOORE, G. W., MOORE, D. J. & PENNINGS, S. C. 2002. Epiphyte host preferences and host traits: mechanisms for species-specific interactions. Oecologia 132:221230.
CANHAM, C. D., DENSLOW, J. S., PLATT, W. J., RUNKLE, J. R., SPIES, T. A. & WHITE, P. S. 1990. Light regimes beneath closed canopies and tree-fall gaps in temperate and tropical forests. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 20:620631.
CATCHPOLE, D. 2004. The ecology of vascular epiphytes on a Ficus L. host (Moraceae) in a Peruvian cloud forest. Ph.D. thesis, School of Geography and Environmental Studies. University of Tasmania, Hobart.
CAVELIER, J., SOLIS, D. & JARAMILLO, M. A. 1996. Fog interception in montane forests across the Central Cordillera of Panamá. Journal of Tropical Ecology 12:357369.
CONDIT, R., PÉREZ, R. & DAGUERRE, N. 2011. Trees of Panama and Costa Rica. Princeton University Press, Princeton. 496 pp.
FETCHER, N., OBERBAUER, S. & STRAIN, B. 1985. Vegetation effects on microclimate in lowland tropical forest in Costa Rica. International Journal of Biometeorology 29:145155.
GRADSTEIN, S. R., VAN REENEN, G. B. A. & GRIFFIN, D. 1989. Species richness and origin of the bryophyte flora of the Colombian Andes. Acta Botanica Neerlandica 38:439448.
HIETZ, P. 1999. Diversity and conservation of epiphytes in a changing environment. Pure and Applied Chemistry 70:21142125.
KELLAR, C., SHORT, M. & MILNE, J. 2006. Epiphytes on ‘Nothofagus cunninghamii’ and ‘Eucalyptus regnans’ in a Victorian cool temperate rainforest. The Victorian Naturalist 123:222229.
LAUBE, S. & ZOTZ, G. 2006. Neither host-specific nor random: vascular epiphytes on three tree species in a Panamanian lowland forest. Annals of Botany 97:11031114.
MEHLTRETER, K., FLORES-PALACIOS, A. & GARCÍA-FRANCO, J. G. 2005. Host preferences of low-trunk vascular epiphytes in a cloud forest of Veracruz, Mexico. Journal of Tropical Ecology 21:651660.
REICH, P. B. & BORCHERT, R. 1984. Water stress and tree phenology in a tropical dry forest in the lowlands of Costa Rica. Journal of Ecology 72:6174.
ROBERTS, N. R., DALTON, P. J. & JORDAN, G. J. 2005. Epiphytic ferns and bryophytes of Tasmanian tree-ferns: a comparison of diversity and composition between two host species. Austral Ecology 30:146154.
SILVA, I. A., FERREIRA, A. W. C., LIMA, M. I. S. & SOARES, J. J. 2010. Networks of epiphytic orchids and host trees in Brazilian gallery forests. Journal of Tropical Ecology 26:127137.
TER STEEGE, H. & CORNELISSEN, J. H. C. 1989. Distribution and ecology of vascular epiphytes in lowland rain forest of Guyana. Biotropica 21:331339.
STUDLAR, S. M. 1982. Host specificity of epiphytic bryophytes near Mountain Lake, Virginia. The Bryologist 85:3750.
WILLIAMS-LINERA, G. 1997. Phenology of deciduous and broadleaved-evergreen tree species in a Mexican tropical lower montane forest. Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters 6:115127.
WILLIAMS-LINERA, G. 2002. Tree species richness complementarity, disturbance and fragmentation in a Mexican tropical montane cloud forest. Biodiversity and Conservation 11:18251843.
WYSE, S. V. & BURNS, B. R. 2011. Do host bark traits influence trunk epiphyte communities? New Zealand Journal of Ecology 35:296301.
ZIMMERMAN, J. K. & OLMSTED, I. C. 1992. Host tree utilization by vascular epiphytes in a seasonally inundated forest (Tintal) in Mexico. Biotropica 24:402407.
ZOTZ, G. & BÜCHE, M. 2000. The epiphytic filmy ferns of a tropical lowland forest – species occurrence and habitat preferences. Ecotropica 6:203206.
ZOTZ, G. & HIETZ, P. 2001. The physiological ecology of vascular epiphytes: current knowledge, open questions. Journal of Experimental Botany 52:20672078.

Keywords

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

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

  • Jennifer C. Sanger (a1) and James B. Kirkpatrick (a1)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.