Sammanfattning

The dispersal ecology of tropical non-vascular epiphytes has rarely been experimentally investigated. We studied epiphyte colonisation on 1 × 1 m polyethene nets placed for four years at seven sites at different elevations in montane forests in the Taita Hills, Kenya. During the first year the nets were also used to measure fog deposition. We predicted that differences in growth conditions would affect colonisation and subsequent growth of non-vascular epiphytes and result in clear differences in epiphyte cover and biomass, and community composition among sites. After four years the nets were taken down for determination of epiphyte cover and biomass. The diversity of established liverworts and macrolichens was also examined. Many liverwort and macrolichen species established diverse communities on the nets placed in the moist upper-montane zone. This was in contrast with the situation in the drier lower-montane zone where only green algae and crustose lichens were able to colonise most nets. Light intensity was an important determinant of epiphyte community composition, with liverworts dominating on nets under closed forest canopies and lichens dominating at more open sites. Atmospheric moisture was also important, with lichens benefiting from abundant fog deposition at open and windy sites. The dry weight of epiphytes (per unit area) on lichen-dominated nets was greater than on liverwort-dominated nets, while the highest cover was generally observed on liverwort-dominated nets. Our results demonstrate that polyethylene nets can be effectively used to study colonisation of non-vascular epiphytes as well as the abiotic and biotic factors controlling epiphyte colonisation and community composition in tropical forests. The liverworts
Acanthocoleus chrysophyllus and Diplasiolejeunea kraussiana were new additions to the Kenyan bryophyte flora.
Originalspråkengelska
TidskriftAnnales Botanici Fennici
Volym57
Utgåva1
Sidor (från-till)227-238
ISSN0003-3847
StatusPublicerad - 5 jun 2020
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad

Vetenskapsgrenar

  • 11831 Växtbiologi

Projekt

BTHK: Bryophytes of Taita Hills, Kenya

Enroth, J., Rikkinen, J., Malombe, I. & Pocs, T.

01/01/2009 → …

Projekt: Forskningsprojekt

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