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Title: Spatial distribution and succession of epiphytes on Tsuga heterophylla (western hemlock) in an old-growth Douglas-fir forest

Author: Lyons, Betsy; Nadkarni, Nalini M.; North, Malcolm P.;

Date: 2000

Source: Can. J. Bot., Vol. 78: 957-968

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: We examined the distribution and abundance of nonvascular epiphytes on western hemlock trees in an oldgrowth coniferous forest focusing on patterns of epiphyte distribution at different spatial scales, epiphyte abundance amongst trees differing in size, and crown structures associated with epiphyte abundance. Total epiphyte cover was greatest in four canopy microhabitats: the upper canopy strata, crowns of large trees, lower crown branches, and inner branch plots. Epiphyte functional groups were stratified vertically within the stand and horizontally within branches. Alectorioid and “other” lichens were most abundant in the upper canopy and outer branch plots. Cyanolichens and Sphaerophorus globosus (Huds.) Vain. were most abundant in the lower to mid canopy. Although cyanolichens were most abundant in middle branch plots, Sphaerophorus was most abundant in inner branch plots. Bryophytes were most abundant in the lower canopy and inner branch plots. At the stand level, canopy height and tree size were the main influences on epiphytes. Within trees, plots closer to the tree trunk and lower in the crown had the greatest abundance of epiphytes. In this forest, understory trees were colonized first by bryophytes, not by alectorioid and “other” lichens as is common for small trees in young stands.

Keywords: epiphyte succession, lichens, western hemlock, old growth, forest canopy, crown structure

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Lyons, Betsy; Nadkarni, Nalini M.; North, Malcolm P. 2000. Spatial distribution and succession of epiphytes on Tsuga heterophylla (western hemlock) in an old-growth Douglas-fir forest. Can. J. Bot., Vol. 78: 957-968

 


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