Biotic factors associated with the spatial distribution of the mistletoe Psittacanthus calyculatus in a tropical deciduous forest of central Mexico

  • Ileana Arce- Ácosta Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro
  • Humberto Suzán Azpiri Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro
  • Oscar Ricardo García-Rubio Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro
keywords: dispersers, distance indices, host association, Psittacanthus calyculatus, spatial distribution

Abstract

Psittacanthus calyculatus (DC.) G. Don (Loranthaceae) is a neotropical hemiparasitic mistletoe and one of the most abundant and widely distributed species of the genus. Like most mistletoes, the interaction with its hosts and dispersers are directly related with its distribution and community dynamics. For the last decade, the infested areas in central México have increased, becoming a potential plant health problem. The aim of this study was to investigate three main biotic factors associated with the distribution of P. calyculatus in a tropical deciduous forest: (1) the plant community structure, (2) the host spatial distribution and level of association with P. calyculatus, and (3) bird consumers. Modified Whittaker plots were used to analyze the structure and composition of the plant community, comparing a highly infected mistletoe sites with non-infected sites. The spatial distribution and association of P. calyculatus with its most frequent hosts were calculated through a spatial analysis by distance indices.  Study sites differed in plant diversity and species composition, showing a positive relation of mistletoe abundance with low diversity sites. The distance indices analysis presented a clumped distribution of P. calyculatus and Acacia hosts, as well as a high association with leguminous species such as A. farnesiana (X = 0.31, P = 0.0041) and A. schaffneri (X = 0.3977, P = 0.001).  Three species consumed P. calyculatus’ berries: the Northern mockingbird, the Silky-Flycatcher and the Scott’s Oriole.

 

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Author Biographies

Ileana Arce- Ácosta, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro
Estudiante recien titulada de Maestría
Humberto Suzán Azpiri, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro
Profesor Investigador tiempo Completo categoría VII
Oscar Ricardo García-Rubio, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro
Profesor investigador tiempo completo
Biotic factors associated with the spatial distribution of the mistletoe Psittacanthus calyculatus in a tropical deciduous forest of central Mexico
Published
2016-03-17
How to Cite
Arce- Ácosta, I., Suzán Azpiri, H., & García-Rubio, O. R. (2016). Biotic factors associated with the spatial distribution of the mistletoe Psittacanthus calyculatus in a tropical deciduous forest of central Mexico. Botanical Sciences, 94(1), 89-96. https://doi.org/10.17129/botsci.263
Section
ECOLOGY / ECOLOGÍA