Composition and structure of vascular erpiphytes in an old-growth forest of Olivillo (Aextoxicon punctatum R. et P.) in southern Chile

Thumbnail Image
San Martin, J.
Espinoza, A.
Zanetti, S.
Hauenstein Barra, Enrique
Ojeda, N.
Arriagada, C.
Datos de publicación:
Ecologia Austral, Vol.18, N°1, 1-11, 2008
Epífitas vasculares - Composición florística - Bosques - Olivillo
Vascular epiphytes represent 10% of the total vascular plants of the world. Nevertheless, because it is hard to reach them in the forest upper-canopy where they usually live, there are few studies (especially in Chile) about them. With the objective of identifying the vascular epiphytes growing on tree stems (under 1.5 m height), we sampled three transects in an Olivillo old-growth stand, in the Rucamanque forest, in the central valley of south-central Chile, near the city of Temuco. Several variables were measured for both the vascular epiphytes and their host-trees. We studied the floristic composition of the vascular epiphytes community, and their relationship with their host-trees, as well as their sociability, cover, and frequency. Eight vascular epiphytes species were identified, corresponding to four genus distributed in three families: Hymenophyllum and Hymenoglossum (Hymenophyllaceae), Asplenium (Aspleniaceae) and Sarmienta (Gesneriaceae). We found only a non-statistically significant linear correlation between vascular epiphytes and their host-trees. We determined that Hymenophyllum cuneatum was the most important vascular epiphytes species.