Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:

login

Log in through your institution.

Journal Article

Floristics and Biogeography of a Rain Forest in the Venezuelan Andes

D. L. Kelly, E. V. J. Tanner, E. M. Nic Lughadha and V. Kapos
Journal of Biogeography
Vol. 21, No. 4 (Jul., 1994), pp. 421-440
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/2845760
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2845760
Page Count: 20
Were these topics helpful?
See somethings inaccurate? Let us know!

Select the topics that are inaccurate.

Cancel
  • Download ($42.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Add to My Lists
  • Cite this Item
Floristics and Biogeography of a Rain Forest in the Venezuelan Andes
Preview not available

Abstract

The vascular flora of 1.5 ha of montane rain forest on a ridge top at 2550-2650 m near Merida, Venezuela was surveyed, compared with other montane forests in the region, and analyzed to determine is biogeographic origins and affinities. The study included an inventory of all stems $\geqslant3.2 cm d.b.h. in eighteen 12\times12$ m plots. The canopy was 10-22 m tall and the trees relatively small (3488 individuals ha-1, basal area 34.7 m2 ha-1). Bamboos were abundant in gaps, there were no buttressed trees and relatively few climbers. Weinnannia glabra L.f. (Cunoniaceae), Clusia trochiformis Vesque (Guttiferae) and Hedyosmum crenatum Occhioni (Chloranthaceae) together accounted for 42% of the individuals and 37% of the basal area. Microphylls, notophylls and mesophylls predominated in the leaf size spectrum. Overall, 219 vascular plant taxa were distinguished in the 1.5 ha study area, including forty-four tree species (plus c. eight Lauraceae), fifteen shrubs, twenty-six herbs (including terrestrial ferns), twenty-one climbers, eight hemiepiphytes, 120 true epiphytes and four hemiparasitic epiphytes (many species occurred as more than one life form). Orchideceae (sixty-five species), Bromeliaceae (fourteen) and Rubiaceae (eleven) were the best-represented families. The proportion of true epiphytes in the total flora (50%) exceeds estimates published for other sites. forty-four per cent of the flora of the study area is restricted to northern Venezuela and Colombia, 25% is endemic to Venezuela and 7% is endemic to Merida state. The flora is thus more geographically specialized than those of isolated montane forests at lower altitudes near the Caribbean coast. The majority of the flora (65%, principally epiphytes) had wind-dispersal diaspores (dust, comose, winged) and 29% of the species (including most trees and shrubs) had succulent fruits. The species with succulent fruits had more limited distributions than the wind-dispersed species. The forest of the study site is floristically distinct from even the nearest other studied montane forests. Future studies should examine whether inter-site differences in montane forests are greater than those between lowland sites separated by similar distances.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
421
    421
  • Thumbnail: Page 
422
    422
  • Thumbnail: Page 
423
    423
  • Thumbnail: Page 
424
    424
  • Thumbnail: Page 
425
    425
  • Thumbnail: Page 
426
    426
  • Thumbnail: Page 
427
    427
  • Thumbnail: Page 
428
    428
  • Thumbnail: Page 
429
    429
  • Thumbnail: Page 
430
    430
  • Thumbnail: Page 
431
    431
  • Thumbnail: Page 
432
    432
  • Thumbnail: Page 
433
    433
  • Thumbnail: Page 
434
    434
  • Thumbnail: Page 
435
    435
  • Thumbnail: Page 
436
    436
  • Thumbnail: Page 
437
    437
  • Thumbnail: Page 
438
    438
  • Thumbnail: Page 
439
    439
  • Thumbnail: Page 
440
    440
Part of Sustainability