How to Cite

Robertson, K., & Platt, W. J. (1992). EFFECTS OF FIRE ON BROMELIADS IN SUBTROPICAL HAMMOCKS OF EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, FLORIDA. Selbyana, 13, 39–49. Retrieved from https://ojs.test.flvc.org/selbyana/article/view/120961


Responses offive species ofsubcanopy bromeliads (Tillandsia balbisiana, T. fasciculata, T. setacea, T. utriculata, and T. valenzuelana) to large-scale disruption by naturally-occurring, low-intensity fire were inferred from comparisons ofpopulations in burned and unburned subtropical hardwood hammocks one year after fire on Long Pine Key in Everglades National Park, Florida. In burned hammocks, the soil humus was consumed. Many trees were defoliated and/or killed, which opened the canopy. Comparisons ofepiphyte populations in burned and unburned hammocks, which were very similar in pre-fire characteristics, indicate that fire had few direct effects on these species. Nonetheless, by altering the environment, fire changed the basic demography (increased mortality, growth, and flowering) of bromeliad populations. Field study ofepiphyte seeds on different species ofhost trees also indicated that short-term adherence on trunks differed between two species (T. fasciculata and T. utriculata), and between burned and unburned hammocks. These results indicate that large-scale disturbances ofthe overstory can result in rapid changes in population dynamics of epiphytes. Such changes can potentially influence long-term composition and dynamics ofpopulations ofsubcanopy epiphytes.


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