Floristics and Ecology of Mesoamerican Montane Climber Communities: Monteverde, Costa Rica


species diversity
forest ecology
Montane forests
woody vines
cloud forests
natural history
adventitious roots

How to Cite

Krings, A. (2000). Floristics and Ecology of Mesoamerican Montane Climber Communities: Monteverde, Costa Rica. Selbyana, 21(1/2), 156–164. Retrieved from


Dicotyledonous woody climbers (≥2.5 cm diameter at breast height) of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Costa Rica were sampled to study their floristics and ecology. Four 0.1 ha sample areas were used to analyze taxonomic composition, species richness, density, dominance, and family importance values. The Monteverde data then were compared to data on woody climbers in four other Mesoamerican montane forests. The Asteraceae are the most species rich family at Monteverde, followed by Sapindaceae and Vitaceae. In sample areas with no records of Fabaceae, either Hydrangeaceae or Piperaceae are always the dominant family in terms of basal area. The dicotyledonous woody climber families with the highest average number of species per sample area among the eight Mesoamerican 0.1 ha sample areas are, in decreasing order, Asteraceae, Sapindaceae, Vitaceae, Asclepiadaceae, and Celastraceae. Families with the highest combined family importance values, however, are in decreasing order: Vitaceae, Celastraceae, Hydrangeaceae, Piperaceae, and Asteraceae. The overall importance of Vitaceae and Celastraceae (shown by their respective combined family importance values) is attributed to the proportionately larger stem and wood production of Mexican representatives of these families. Se muestrearon y se analizaron (para composición taxonómica, riqueza de especies, densidad, dominancia y valores de importancia a nivel familia), las trepadoras leñosas dicotiledoneas ≥2.5 cm en diámetro a altura del pecho del Bosque Nuboso de Monteverde, Costa Rica usando cuatro áreas de muestra de 0.1 ha. Luego, los datos de Monteverde se compararon a cuatro otros bosques montañosos mesoamericanos. Los resultados muestran que la familia Asteraceae es, en riqueza de especies, la mas importante en Monteverde. En áreas de muestra sin Fabaceae, ya sea Hydrangeaceae o Piperaceae son las familias dominantes cuando se considera área basál. Las familias dicotiledoneas con lo mayor numero de especies por área de muestra en las ocho áreas de muestras de 0.1 ha mesoamericanas son, de mayor a menor numero de especies, Asteraceae, Sapindaceae, Vitaceae, Asclepiadaceae y Celastraceae. Sin embargo, las familias mas importantes según valores combinados de importancia a nivel familia son, de mayor a menor importancia, Vitaceae, Celastraceae, Hydrangeaceae, Piperaceae y Asteraceae. La importancia de Vitaceae y Celastraceae resulta de la gran producción de tallos y madera en estas familias en las comunidades mexicanas.


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