Host Tree Preference of Vascular Epiphytes and Climbers in a Subtropical Montane Cloud Forest of Northwest Argentina


neotropical montane forests

How to Cite

Malizia, A. (2003). Host Tree Preference of Vascular Epiphytes and Climbers in a Subtropical Montane Cloud Forest of Northwest Argentina. Selbyana, 24(2), 196–205. Retrieved from


In a subtropical montane cloud forest of northwest Argentina (22°S, 1800 m elevation), vascular epiphyte and climber communities were described in 1 hectare to assess relationships between the epiphytes and climbers and their host tree species. In addition, inferences were made regarding associations between epiphytes and climbers and tree morphological-functional groups. A total of 23 epiphytes and climbers were registered on 171 trees. Tree species differed in their epiphyte and climber composition and coverage of a non-metric multidimensional scaling ordination. Tree species were differentiated by foliar phenology and bole heights. These factors likely create a range of microenvironments within the canopy from humid and dark to dry and well lit. The most abundant climber (Macfadyena unguis-cati) was associated with trees having drier and brighter microenvironments (particularly Juglans australis), and at least eight epiphyte species were associated with trees with moister and darker microenvironments. Tree species also differed according to tree and crown diameter, total tree and bole height, and bark type. Taller tree species with rough bark, larger diameters and crown dimensions were associated with at least eleven epiphyte and climber species. Overall, epiphyte and climber community composition differed among host tree species and may be explained in part by measurable host tree characteristics.


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