Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Mineral Cycling and the Niche of Spanish Moss, Tillandsia usneoides L.

William H. Schlesinger and P. L. Marks
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 64, No. 10 (Nov. - Dec., 1977), pp. 1254-1262
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2442489
Page Count: 9
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($12.00)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Mineral Cycling and the Niche of Spanish Moss, Tillandsia usneoides L.
Preview not available

Abstract

On the southeastern coastal plain, the occurrence and abundance of the epiphyte Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides L.; Bromeliaceae) are linked to the availability of minerals in the canopy of potential host trees. Trees with high rates of foliar leaching (e.g., cypress and oaks) provide an abundant supply of minerals (Ca, Mg, K, and P) in precipitation collected beneath the canopy. In forests of these species Spanish moss is more abundant and has higher mineral concentrations than in pine forests (e.g., phosphorus 0.04-0.06% dry weight versus 0.03-0.04%). In growth-chamber experiments the growth of Spanish moss increased in response to added phosphorus in the range of concentrations observed in field precipitation collections (0-200 μ g/l). In addition to the availability of minerals, the rate of bark sloughing from host trees and allelopathic effects may also control the local distribution of Spanish moss. Light and moisture appear to be less important factors. Thus, within a favorable climatic range, mineral and bark characteristics of host trees may be used to illustrate a niche hypervolume for this species.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
1254
    1254
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1255
    1255
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1256
    1256
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1257
    1257
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1258
    1258
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1259
    1259
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1260
    1260
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1261
    1261
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1262
    1262