Species Richness of Vascular Epiphytes in Two Primary Forests and Fallows in the Bolivian Andes


vascular epiphytes
canopy studies
tropical rain forest
secondary vegetation

How to Cite

Krömer, T., & Gradstein, S. R. (2003). Species Richness of Vascular Epiphytes in Two Primary Forests and Fallows in the Bolivian Andes. Selbyana, 24(2), 190–195. Retrieved from https://ojs.test.flvc.org/selbyana/article/view/121546


To study the impact of deforestation on vascular epiphyte diversity, we compared species richness in plots in primary forest and adjacent 15-year-old fallows in two different sites in the Yungas of Bolivia, including submontane forest near Sapecho (500-1200 m) and montane forest in the Parque Nacional Cotapata (1500— 2500 m). Nearly 500 species of epiphytes (25 families, 110 genera) were recorded, and a 1.0 ha plot composed of eight subplots with a total surface of 0.32 ha of montane forest had up to 175 species. These forests rank among the richest worldwide in terms of epiphyte diversity. Fallows had 60-70% fewer species than neighboring natural forest. Numbers of species of orchids, bromeliads, Hymenophyllaceae, and Grammitidaceae were much lower in fallows than in primary forest, but hemiepiphytic aroids, Polypodiaceae and Aspleniaceae, were similar. Reduction of epiphytic species diversity in fallows can be explained by structural characteristics of the fallow trees, the lack of a dense moss cover, and the drier microclimate in the fallows.


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