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Are neotropical predictors of forest epiphyte–host relationships consistent in Indonesia?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 January 2017

Robin Martin Hayward*
Affiliation:
CIRCLE, Environment Department, Wentworth Way, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5NG, UK
Thomas Edward Martin
Affiliation:
Operation Wallacea Ltd, Wallace House, Old Bolingbroke, Lincolnshire, PE23 4EX, UK
Timothy Michael Arthur Utteridge
Affiliation:
Identification & Naming Department, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond TW9 3AE, UK
Abdul Haris Mustari
Affiliation:
Faculty of Forestry, Department of Conservation of Forest Resources and Ecotourism, Kampus Fahutan, IPB Darmaga, Kotak Pos 168, Bogor 16001, Indonesia
Andrew Robert Marshall
Affiliation:
CIRCLE, Environment Department, Wentworth Way, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5NG, UK Flamingo Land Ltd, Malton YO17 6UX, UK
*
*Corresponding author. Email: robinmhayward@gmail.com

Abstract:

Epiphytes represent keystone resources for many arthropod and vertebrate species, however their ecology remains poorly explored, especially within the palaeotropics. Several recent studies have examined relationships between epiphyte richness and characteristics of local habitats, although these have all focused on neotropical forests. Here, we aim to determine whether predictors of neotropical epiphyte richness are consistent at a palaeotropical site. A total of 44 host trees (dbh range 25–288 cm) were sampled at two study sites on Buton Island, Indonesia. For each tree, epiphyte richness and seven variables relating to characteristics of the host tree and surrounding habitats were recorded: site (a proxy value for disturbance level and water availability), host above-ground biomass (agb), altitude, bark texture, exposure, emergence and crown area. Gaussian GLM analyses indicated that the percentage deviance explained in epiphyte richness per host was greatest for agb (20.9%), crown area (19.6%) and site (15.5%); similar to previous findings from the neotropics. Results therefore suggest that high epiphyte diversity within palaeotropical forests is most likely to be found in large tracts of undisturbed forest, supporting large, broad-crowned trees.

Type
Short Communication
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017 

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