Structure and Diversity of the Vascular Epiphyte Community in the Overstory of a Tropical Rain Forest in Surumoni, Amazonas State, Venezuela



How to Cite

Carlsen, M. (2000). Structure and Diversity of the Vascular Epiphyte Community in the Overstory of a Tropical Rain Forest in Surumoni, Amazonas State, Venezuela. Selbyana, 21(1/2), 7–10. Retrieved from


The structure of the vascular epiphyte community in the overstory (20-28 m) of a riverine tropical rain forest was studied with the aid of a large tower crane between April and December of 1997. The forest is located near Caño Surumoni, a small tributary of the Orinoco River, in Amazonas State, Venezuela. The overstory or upper canopy in the study plot contained 147 trees, representing 16 families and approximately 22 species. Of these trees, 20% bore at least one epiphyte. In this stratum, 243 epiphytic individuals were found, representing seven families and 22 species. The family Orchidaceae presented the greatest number of species (11). Five species, Codonanthe crassifolia (Gesneriaceae), Micro gramma baldwinii (Polypodiaceae), Cattleya violacea (Orchidaceae), Anthurium gracile (Araceae), and Aechmea tillandsioides (Bromeliaceae), represented the highest number of individuals. No apparent relationship existed between any epiphyte in the study and the main architectural features of its phorophyte. A correlation was established, however, between epiphyte abundance and type of tree bark.


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