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Bryophyte Diversity of Ficus Tree Crowns from Cloud Forest and Pasture in Costa Rica

Stephen C. Sillett, S. Rob Gradstein and Dana Griffin, III
The Bryologist
Vol. 98, No. 2 (Summer, 1995), pp. 251-260
DOI: 10.2307/3243312
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3243312
Page Count: 10
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Bryophyte Diversity of Ficus Tree Crowns from Cloud Forest and Pasture in Costa Rica
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Abstract

A total of 127 bryophyte species (50 mosses, 76 liverworts, and 1 hornwort) was encountered in the inner crowns of six Ficus tuerckheimmi trees in a lower montane wet forest landscape: 109 on three intact forest trees and 76 on three isolated trees. Fifty-two species were found only on the intact forest trees, while only 18 species were exclusive to the isolated trees. Bryophyte species richness, bryophyte cover, and the frequency of pendents, tall turfs, tails, and fans were significantly higher in intact forest trees. Inner crowns of isolated trees had higher rates of evaporation, had higher macrolichen cover, and were more exposed to sunlight than inner crowns of intact forest trees. Ordination analysis revealed one dominant pattern in bryophyte composition in the inner canopy: a desiccation gradient ranging from sheltered sites in the intact forest trees to exposed sites in the isolated trees.

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