THE NUTRITIONAL EFFECTS OF EPIPHYTES ON HOST TREES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO ALTERATION OF PRECIPITATION CHEMISTRY
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Keywords

PRECIPITATION CHEMISTRY
NUTRITIONAL EFFECTS

How to Cite

Nadkarni, N. M. (1986). THE NUTRITIONAL EFFECTS OF EPIPHYTES ON HOST TREES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO ALTERATION OF PRECIPITATION CHEMISTRY. Selbyana, 9(1), 44–51. Retrieved from https://ojs.test.flvc.org/selbyana/article/view/120675

Abstract

Epiphytes have epitomized a neutral, or commensalistic symbiosis with their hosts, and have historically been considered to only minimally affect the nutrient relations ofsupporting trees and the ecosystem as a whole. Research in the last decade, however, hasrevealed that epiphytes may significantly contribute to overall nutrient cycling despite their biomass being small, relative to the ecosystem as a whole. Thishas been confirmed in variousforests, rangingfrom drytemperateoakwoodland tovery wet neotropica1 cloud forests. A general model to enumerate the inputs, pools, and outflows of mineral nutrients ofthe epiphyte component is presented. Studies on the effects ofepiphytes on nutrient transfers from epiphytes to other ecosystem members from a temperate and a tropical rainforest show that epiphytes tend to absorb atmospheric-borne nutrients during the dry season. During the wet season, there is a greater net release of nutrients from branches with epiphytes than from those whose epiphytes had been experimentally stripped. Mechanisms by which epiphytes may enhance the nutrient status ofindividual host trees and the forest as a whole are summarized.

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