Host affinity and vertical distribution of epiphytic orchids in a montane cloud forest in southern Mexico

Ezequiel Hernández-Pérez, Eloy Solano, Ramiro Ríos-Gómez

Abstract


Background: The host´s structural characteristics provide diverse microhabitats that influence the distribution patterns of the epiphytes at different vertical zones and among tree species.

Hypotheses: Epiphytic orchids have preference for larger host trees and with non-exfoliating rough bark, while the limiting hosts will be those of smaller size and smooth and exfoliating bark, and there will be fewer individuals in the upper canopy of the host trees because the micro-environmental conditions are more stressful compared to the middle and lower parts of the host trees.

Methods: The host preferences and vertical distribution of the epiphytic orchids were analyzed in 20 montane cloud forest fragments. In each fragment, two transects of 2 × 50 m were drawn, and the trees with a diameter at a breast height ≥ 20 cm were recorded. In each tree, basal area was quantified and bark texture was characterized. In each tree and vertical zone, the orchid species present were identified and quantified.

Results: Orchid distribution patterns vary between vertical zones and host tree species, and the richness is related to host size and bark texture. The highest species richness and number of epiphytic orchid’s individuals were recorded in host trees with fissured bark and larger size. The distribution of orchids in the host was not homogeneous nor was it related to any particular host species. However, five trees species were considered as host preferred, while five tree species were limiting hosts. The highest richness was recorded in vertical zone II and the lowest in zones I and V.

Conclusions: Larger trees contain greater richness of epiphytic orchids, because they offer better conditions for their establishment, provide a great diversity of microhabitats, greater time and area for epiphytic colonization events. The texture of the bark is a relevant factor in the host preference, and in the hosts with smooth bark, the presence of epiphytic orchids depends on the accumulation of organic matter.


Keywords


generalist epiphytes; Oaxaca; Orchidaceae; phorophytes; specialist epiphytes

Full Text:

Full Text PDF

References


Acebey A, Gradstein SR, Krömer T. 2003. Species richness and habitat diversification of bryophytes in submontane rain forest and fallows of Bolivia. Journal of Tropical Ecology 19: 9-18. DOI: 1017/S026646740300302X.

Acebey A, Krömer T. 2001. Diversidad y distribución vertical de epífitas en los alrededores del campamento Río Eslabón y de la laguna Chalalán, Parque Nacional Madidi, Dpto. La Paz, Bolivia. Revista de la Sociedad Boliviana de Botánica. 3: 104-123.

Ackerman JD, Montalvo AM, Vera AM. 1989. Epiphyte host specificity of Encyclia krugii, a Puerto Rican endemic orchid. Lindleyana 4: 74-77.

Adhikari YP, Siegfried-Fischer H, Fischer A. 2012. Host tree utilization by epiphytic orchids in different land-use intensities in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Plant Ecology 213: 1393-1412. DOI: 10.1007/s11258-012-0099-0

Alves RJV, Kolbek J, Becker J. 2008. Vascular epiphyte vegetation in rocky savannas of southeastern Brazil. Nordic Journal of Botany 26: 101-117. DOI: 10.1111/j.1756-1051.2008.00190.x

Arditti J. 1992. Fundamentals of orchid biology. New York: Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Arévalo R, Betancur J. 2006. Vertical distribution of vascular epiphytes in four forest types of the Serranía de Chiribiquete, Colombian Guayana. Selbyana 27: 175-185.

Arriaga L, Espinoza JM, Aguilar C, Martínez E, Gómez L, Loa E. (coordinadores). 2000. Regiones terrestres prioritarias de México. México: Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad.

Ayala-Hernández MM. 2011. Los bosques mesófilos de montaña de las Sierras Triqui-Mixteca y las relaciones biogeográficas de su flora. MSc. Thesis, Facultad de Estudios Superiores Zaragoza, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Barker MG. 1997. An update on low-tech methods for forest canopy access and on sampling a forest canopy. Selbyana 18: 61-71.

Barker MG, Sutton SL. 1997. Low-tech methods for forest canopy access. Biotropica 29: 243-247. DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7429.1997.tb00032.x

Bartels SF, Chen HYH. 2012. Mechanisms regulating epiphytic plant diversity. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 31: 391-400. DOI: 10.1080/07352689.2012.680349

Bergstrom BJ, Carter R. 2008. Host-tree selection by an epiphytic orchid, Epidendrum magnoliae Muhl. (Green Fly Orchid), in an Inland Hardwood Hammock in Georgia. Southwest Naturalist 7: 571-580. DOI: 10.1656/1528-7092-7.4.571

Benzing DH. 1990. Vascular epiphytes. General biology and related biota. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bernal R, Valverde T, Hernández-Rosas L. 2005. Habitat preference of the epiphyte Tillandsia recurvata (Bromeliaceae) in a semi-desert environment in Central Mexico. Canadian Journal of Botany 83: 1238-1247. DOI: 10.1139/b05-076

Burns KC, Dawson JW. 2005. Patterns in the distribution of epiphytes and vines in a New Zealand forest. Austral Ecology 30: 883-891. DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2005.01532.x

Cabral JS, Petter G, Mendieta-Leiva G, Wagner K, Zotz G, Kreft H. 2015. Branchfall as a demographic filter for epiphyte communities: lessons from forest floor-based sampling. PLoS One 10:e0128019. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0128019

Callaway RM, Reinhart KO, Moore GW, Moore DJ, Pennings SC. 2002. Epiphyte host preferences and host traits: mechanisms for species-specific interactions. Oecologia 132: 221-230. DOI: 10.1007/s00442-002-0943-3

Cardelús CL, Mack MC, Woods C, DeMarco J, Treseder KK. 2009. The influence of tree species on canopy soil nutrient status in a tropical lowland wet forest in Costa Rica. Plant and Soil 318: 47-61.

Cardelús C, Colwell R, Watkins J. 2006. Vascular epiphyte distribution patterns: explaining the mid-elevation richness peak. Journal of Ecology 94: 144-156. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2005.01052.x

Cascante-Marín A, von Meijenfeld N, de Leeuw HMH, Wolf JHD, Oostermeijer JGB, den Nijs JCM. 2009. Dispersal limitation in epiphytic bromeliad communities in a Costa Rican fragmented montane landscape. Journal of Tropical Ecology 25: 63-73. DOI: 10.1017/S0266467408005622

Castro-Hernández JC, Wolf JHD, García-Franco JG, González-Espinosa M. 1999. The influence of humidity, nutrients and light on the establishment of the epiphytic bromeliad Tillandsia guatemalensis in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. Revista de Biología Tropical 47: 763-773.

Catling PM, Lefkovitch LP. 1989. Association of vascular epiphytes in a Guatemalan cloud forest. Biotropica 21: 35-40. DOI: 10.2307/2388439

Catling PM, Brownell VR, Lefkovitch LP. 1986. Epiphytic orchids in a Belizean grapefruit orchard: distribution, colonization, and association. Lindleyana 1: 194-202.

Chase MW, Freudenstein JV, Cameron KM, Barrett RL. 2003. DNA data and Orchidaceae systematics: a new phylogenetic classification. In: Dixon KW, Kell SP, Barrett RL, Cribb PJ, eds. Orchid conservation. Kota Kinabalu: Natural History Publications, 69-89.

Chase MW. 1987. Obligate twig epiphytism in the Oncidiinae and other neotropical orchids. Selbyana 10: 24-30.

Colwell RK, Dunn RR, Harris NC. 2012. Coextinction and persistence of dependent species in a changing world. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 43: 183-203. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-ecosys-110411-160304

Díaz I, Sieving K, Peña-Foxon M, Larraín J, Armesto J. 2010. Epiphyte diversity and biomass loads of canopy emergent trees in Chilean temperate rain forests: A neglected functional component. Forest Ecology and Management 259: 1490-1501. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2010.01.025

Flores-Palacios A, García-Franco JG. 2008. Habitat isolation changes the beta diversity of the vascular epiphyte community in lower montane forest, Veracruz, Mexico. Biodiversity and Conservation 17: 191-207. DOI: 10.1007/s10531-007-9239-6

Flores-Palacios A, García-Franco JG. 2006. Relationship between tree size and epiphyte species richness: testing four different hypotheses. Journal of Biogeography 33: 323-330. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2005.01382.x

Freiberg M. 1996. Spatial distribution of vascular epiphytes on three emergent canopy trees in French Guyana. Biotropica 28: 345-355. DOI: 10.2307/2389198

Gentry AH, Dodson CH. 1987. Diversity and biogeography of Neotropical vascular epiphytes. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 74: 205-233. DOI: 10.2307/2399395

Gil-Novoa JE, Morales-Puentes ME. 2014. Vertical stratification of epiphytic bryophytes found on Quercus humboldtii (Fagaceae) from Boyacá, Colombia. Revista de Biología Tropical 62: 719-727.

González-Espinosa M, Quintana-Ascencio PF, Ramírez-Marcial N, Gaytán-Guzmán P. 1991. Secondary succession in disturbed Pinus-Quercus forests of the highlands of Chiapas, México. Journal of Vegetation Science 2: 351-360. DOI: 10.2307/3235927

Gradstein SR, Nadkarni NM, Krömer T, Holz I, Nöske N. 2003. A protocol for rapid and representative sampling of vascular and non-vascular epiphyte diversity of tropical rain forest. Selbyana 24: 105-111. DOI: 10.2307/41750962

Gravendeel B, Smithson A, Slik FJW, Schuiteman A. 2004. Epiphytism and pollinator specialization: drivers for orchid diversity? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 359: 1523-1535. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2004.1529

Haberman SJ. 1973. The analysis of residual in cross-classified tables. Biometrics 29: 205-220. DOI: 10.2307/2529686

Hágsater EM, Soto-Arenas MA, Salazar-Chávez GA, Jiménez-Machorro R, López-Rosas MA, Dressler RL. 2005. Las orquídeas de México. México: Instituto Chinoín.

Hietz P, Hietz-Seifert U. 1995. Structure and ecology of epiphyte communities of a cloud forest in central Veracruz, Mexico. Journal of Vegetation Science 6: 719-728. DOI: 10.2307/3236443

Hirata A, Kamijo T, Saito S. 2009. Host trait preferences and distribution of vascular epiphytes in a warm-temperate forest. Plant Ecology 201: 247-254. DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-2795-5_19

Ingram SW, Nadkarni NM. 1993. Composition and distribution of epiphytic organic matter in a neotropical cloud forest, Costa Rica. Biotropica 25: 370-383. DOI: 10.2307/2388861

Johansson D. 1974. Ecology of vascular epiphytes in West African rain forest. Acta Phytogeographica Suecica 59: 1-123.

Kelly DL, O’Donovan G, Feehan J, Murphy S, Drangeid SO, Marcano-Berti L. 2004. The epiphyte communities of a montane rain forest in the Andes of Venezuela: patterns in the distribution of the flora. Journal of Tropical Ecology 20: 643-666. DOI: 10.1017/S0266467404001671

Kelly DL. 1985. Epiphytes and climbers of a Jamaican rain forest: vertical distribution, life forms and life histories. Journal of Biogeography 12: 223-241. DOI: 10.2307/2844997

Krömer T, Kessler M, Gradstein SR. 2007a. Vertical stratification of vascular epiphytes in submontane and montane forest of the Bolivian Andes: the importance of the understory. Plant Ecology 189: 261-278. DOI: 10.1007/s11258-006-9182-8

Krömer T, Gradstein SR, Acebey A. 2007b. Diversidad y ecología de epífitas vasculares en bosques montanos primarios y secundarios de Bolivia. Ecología en Bolivia 42: 23-33.

Krömer T, Kessler M. 2006. Filmy ferns (Hymenophyllaceae) as high-canopy epiphytes. Ecotropica 12: 57-63.

Krömer T, Kessler M, Gradstein SR, Acebey A. 2005. Diversity patterns of vascular epiphytes along an elevational gradient in the Andes. Journal of Biogeography 32: 1799-1809. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2005.01318.x

Laube S, Zotz G. 2006. Neither host-specific nor random: vascular epiphytes on three tree species in a Panamanian lowland forest. Annals of Botany 97: 1103-1114. DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcl067

Laube S, Zotz G. 2003. Which abiotic factors limit vegetative growth in a vascular epiphyte? Functional Ecology 17: 598-604. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2435.2003.00760.x

López-Villalobos A, Flores-Palacios A, Ortiz-Pulido R. 2008. The relationship between bark peeling rate and the distribution and mortality of two epiphyte species. Plant Ecology 198: 265-274. DOI: 10.1007/s11258-008-9402-5

Mehltreter K, Flores-Palacios A, García-Franco JG. 2005. Host preferences of low-trunk vascular epiphytes in a cloud forest of Veracruz, Mexico. Journal of Tropical Ecology 21: 651-660. DOI: 10.1017/S0266467405002683

Migenis LE, Ackerman JD. 1993. Orchids-phorophyte relationships in a forest watershed in Puerto Rico. Journal of Tropical Ecology 9: 231-240.

Mondragón D, Valverde T, Hernández-Apolinar M. 2015. Population ecology of epiphytic angiosperms: A review. Tropical Ecology 56: 1-39. DOI: 10.13140/2.1.4043.5849

Moorhead LC, Philpott SM, Bichier P. 2010. Epiphyte biodiversity in the coffee agricultural matrix: canopy stratification and distance from forest fragments. Conservation Biology 24: 737-746. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01430.x

Mota S, Ter Steege H, Cornelissen JC, Gradstein SR. 2009. Niche assembly of epiphytic bryophyte communities in the Guianas: a regional approach. Journal of Biogeography 36: 2076-2084. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02144.x

Nieder J, Engwald S, Klawun M, Barthlott W. 2000. Spatial distribution of vascular epiphytes (including hemiepiphytes) in a lowland Amazonian rain forest (Surumoni crane plot) of Southern Venezuela. Biotropica 32: 385-396. DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7429.2000.tb00485.x

Osorio-Gil EM, Forero-Montaña J, Otero JT. 2008. Variation in mycorrhizal infection of the epiphytic orchid Ionopsis utriculariodes (Orchidaceae) on different substrata. Caribbean Journal of Science 44: 130-132. DOI: 10.18475/cjos.v44i1.a15

Otero JT, Aragón S, Ackerman JD. 2007. Site variation in spatial aggregation and phorophyte preference in Psychilis monensis (Orchidaceae). Biotropica 39: 227-231. DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7429.2006.00258.x

Pennington TD, Sarukhán J. 2005. Árboles tropicales de México: Manual para la identificación de las principales especies. D. F.: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Fondo de Cultura Económica.

Petter G, Wagner K, Zotz G, Cabral JS, Wanek W, Sanchez Delgado EJ, Kreft H. 2016. Distribution of functional leaf traits of vascular epiphyte: vertical trends, intra and interspecific trait variability, and phylogenetic signals. Functional Ecology 30: 188-198. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.12490

Pypker TG, Unsworth MH, Bond BJ. 2006. The role of epiphytes in rainfall interception by forests in the Pacific Northwest. II. Field measurements at the branch and canopy scale. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 36: 819-832. DOI: 10.1139/x05-286

Richards PW. 1996. The tropical rain forest—an ecological study. Second edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Reyes-García C, Griffiths H, Rincon E, Huante P. 2008. Niche differentiation in tank and atmospheric epiphytic bromeliads of a seasonally dry forest. Biotropica 40: 168-175. DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7429.2007.00359.x

Ruíz-Cordova JP, Toledo-Hernández VH, Flores-Palacios A. 2014. The effect of substrate abundance in the vertical stratification of bromeliad epiphytes in a tropical dry forest (Mexico). Flora 209: 375-384. DOI: 10.1016/j.flora.2014.06.003

Salazar GA, Reyes-Santiago J, Brachet C, Pérez-Crisanto J. 2006. Orquídeas y otras plantas nativas de la Cañada Cuicatlán, Oaxaca, México. México: Instituto de Biología, UNAM.

Sanford WW. 1968. Distribution of epiphytic orchids in semideciduous tropical forest in Southern Nigeria. Journal of Ecology 56: 697-705. DOI: 10.2307/2258101

Scheffknecht S, Winkler M, Hülber K, Rosas MM, Hietz P. 2010. Seedling establishment of epiphytic orchids in forests and coffee plantations in Central Veracruz, Mexico. Journal of Tropical Ecology 26: 93-102. DOI: 10.1017/S0266467409990332

Sides CB, Enquist BJ, Ebersole JJ, Smith MN, Henderson AN, Sloat LL. 2014. Revisiting Darwin’s hypothesis: does greater intraspecific variability increase species’ ecological breadth? American Journal of Botany 101: 56-62. DOI: 10.3732/ajb.1300284. DOI: 10.3732/ajb.1300284

Silvera K, Lasso E. 2016. Ecophysiology and Crassulacean Acid Metabolism of Tropical Epiphytes. In: Goldstein G, Santiago LS, eds. Tropical Tree Physiology. Argovia: Springer International Publishing, 25-43.

Solano, R. 1993. El género Stelis en México. Orquídea 13: 1-75.

Susan-Tepetlan TM, Velázquez-Rosas N, Krömer T. 2016. Cambios en las características funcionales de epífitas vascualres de bosque mesóflio de montaña y vegetación secundaria en la región central de Veracruz, México. Botanical Sciences 93(1): 153-163. DOI: 10.17129/botsci.228

Toledo-Aceves T, García-Franco JG, Flores-Palacios A. 2017. Do cloud forest tree species differ in their suitability as a substrate for epiphytic bromeliads? Plant Ecology 218: 541-546. DOI: 10.1007/s11258-017-0709-y

Théry M. 2001. Forest light and its influence on habitat selection. Plant Ecology 153: 251-261. DOI: 10.1023/A:101759263

Trejo I. 2004. Clima. In: García-Mendoza AJ, Ordóñez MJ, Briones-Salas M, eds. Biodiversidad de Oaxaca. México: Instituto de Biología-UNAM. Fondo Oaxaqueño para la Conservación de la Naturaleza -World Wildlife Fund, 67-85.

Tremblay RL, Zimmerman JK, Lebrón L, Bayman P, Sastre I, Axelrod F, Alers-García J. 1998. Host specificity and low reproductive success in the rare endemic Puerto Rican orchid Lepanthes caritensis. Biological Conservation 85: 297-304. DOI: 10.1016/S0006-3207(97)00163-8

Tupac OJ, Aragon S, Ackerman JD. 2007. Site variation in spatial aggregation and phorophyte preference in Psychilis monensis (Orchidaceae). Biotropica 39: 227-231. DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7429.2006.00258.x

Valencia-Díaz S, Flores-Palacios A, Rodríguez-López V, Ventura-Zapata E, Jiménez-Aparicio AR. 2010. Effect of host-bark extracts on seed germination in Tillandsia recurvata, an epiphytic bromeliad. Journal of Tropical Ecology 26:571-581. DOI: 10.1017/S0266467410000374

Vergara-Torres CA, Pacheco-Álvarez MC, Flores-Palacios A. 2010. Host preference and host limitation of vascular epiphytes in a tropical dry forest of central Mexico. Journal of Tropical Ecology 26: 563-570. DOI: 10.1017/S0266467410000349

Wagner K, Mendieta-Leiva G, Zotz G. 2015. Host specificity in vascular epiphytes: a review of methodology, empirical evidence and potential mechanisms. AoB Plants 7: plu092. DOI: 10. 1093/aobpla/plu092

Wagner K, Bogusch W, Zotz G. 2013. The role of the regeneration niche for the vertical stratification of vascular epiphytes. Journal of Tropical Ecology 29: 277-290. DOI:10.1017/S0266467413000291

Werner FA, Homeier J, Gradstein RS. 2005. Diversity of vascular epiphytes on isolated remnant trees in the montane forest belt of southern Ecuador. Ecotropica 11: 21-40.

Woods CL, Cardelús CL, DeWalt SJ. 2015. Microhabitat associations of vascular epiphytes in a

wet tropical forest canopy. Journal of Ecology 103: 421-430. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12357

Wyse SV, Burns BR. 2011. Do host bark traits influence trunk epiphyte communities? New Zealand Journal of Ecology 35: 296-301.

Zar JH. 1996. Biostatistical analysis. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.

Zimmerman JK, Olmsted IC. 1992. Host tree utilization by vascular epiphytes in a seasonally inundated forest (Tintal) in Mexico. Biotropica 24: 402-407. DOI: 10.2307/2388610

Zotz G. 2016. Plants on Plants – The Biology of Vascular Epiphytes, Serie: Fascinating Life Sciences. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-39237-0_7

Zotz G. 2013. The systematic distribution of vascular epiphytes-a critical update. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 171: 453-481. DOI: 10.1111/boj.12010

Zotz G, Schultz S. 2008. The vascular epiphytes of a lowland forest in Panama-species composition and spatial structure. Plant Ecology 195: 131-141. DOI: 10.1007/s11258-007-9310-0

Zotz G, Vollrath B. 2003. The epiphyte vegetation of the palm Socratea exorrhiza - correlations with tree size, tree age, and bryophyte cover. Journal of Tropical Ecology 19: 81-90. DOI: 10.1017/S0266467403003092

Zotz G, Hietz P, Schmidt G. 2001. Small plants, large plants - the importance of plant size for the physiological ecology of vascular epiphytes. Journal of Experimental Botany 52: 2051-2056. DOI: 10.1093/jexbot/52.363.2051

Zotz G, Buche M. 2000. The epiphytic filmy ferns of a tropical lowland forest – species occurrence and habitat preferences. Ecotropica 6: 203-206




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17129/botsci.1869

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


ISSN: 2007-4476
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.