Cite as:
Mandl, N. (2008): <b>Bryophyte and macrolichen diversity of the Purdiaea nutans forest in southern Ecuador and its relationship to soil, climate, and vegetation structure</b> Universit&auml;t G&ouml;ttingen, <i>phd thesis</i>

Resource Description

Title: Bryophyte and macrolichen diversity of the Purdiaea nutans forest in southern Ecuador and its relationship to soil, climate, and vegetation structure
FOR816dw ID: 585
Publication Date: 2008-04-23
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Resource Owner(s):
Individual: Nicole Mandl
This study confirms that the unique Purdiaea nutans forest in the upper montane belt of<br/> the Reserva Biologíca San Francisco in southern Ecuador is an azonal ridge vegetation<br/> type. Our assumption that the mass occurrence of Purdiaea may be caused by extremely<br/> poor soils was not confirmed. From our point of view the development of this<br/> monodominant forest was more likely triggered by historical fire events and a combination<br/> of site specific abiotic factors, related to topography, geology, pedology, and<br/> macroclimate.<br/> Neither the terrestrial nor the epiphytic bryophyte and macrolichen species richness or<br/> composition were affected by the unusual tree species composition, but instead represent<br/> typical upper montane ridge communities of the region.<br/> Distribution of bryophytes and Macrolichens is primarily determined by differences in<br/> microclimatic conditions. Habitat differences between slope forest and ridge forest, and<br/> small scale habitat heterogeneity within ridges, define microclimatic conditions and are<br/> therefore responsible for the variability of terrestrial bryophyte and Macrolichen<br/> assemblages in upper montane forests in southern Ecuador. In the epiphytic habitat,<br/> microclimatic conditions follow a vertical gradient rather than a horizontal one.<br/> Accordingly, different species assemblages, indicator species and life forms are observed<br/> in different positions within the tree. Tree crowns are inhabited by rather small,<br/> desiccation-tolerant and wind-approved bryophytes and Macrolichens, whereas on trunks<br/> taller, shade tolerant bryophytes predominate.<br/> The higher species richness recorded from other Neotropical upper montane forests is<br/> mostly due to high species numbers of mosses and Macrolichens; liverworts are relatively<br/> more pronounced in our study sites. The extremely high precipitation of the area favours<br/> liverworts and strong winds constrain the growth of projecting or hanging species such as<br/> Meteoriaceae and macrolichens typical for outer canopies elsewhere.<br/> A taxonomic comparison of alpha and beta diversities reveals no universally valid pattern<br/> for lichens, liverworts, mosses, and ferns. The results indicate that diversity patterns for<br/> epiphytic and terrestrial species are distinct and should be treated separately. Among the<br/> 92<br/> studied taxonomic groups, ferns and liverworts show most similar patterns of alpha and<br/> beta diversity and therefore are most likely to work as surrogates for one another.
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Degree: phd
Degree Institution: Universität Göttingen
Total Pages: 101
Metadata Provider:
Individual: Florian A. Werner
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