Species richness and abundance of epiphytic Araceae on adjacent floodplain and upland forest in Amazonian Ecuador

  • Leimbeck R
  • Balslev H
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Terrestrial plant communities of adjacent upland and floodplain forest of the Amazonian lowland differ from each other in species richness and composition. Epiphytes are generally not considered as being affected by flooding, but we found considerable variation in the communities of epiphytic Araceae of flooded and unflooded forest. Contrary to findings from tree or ground herb communities, no depletion in overall species richness was observed among epiphytic aroids of the floodplains. Abundance and number of epiphytic aroid species per phorophyte were significantly higher than in upland forest, and the species composition varied conspicuously between the two forest types. We suggest that these differences are due to elevated humidity and better soil quality on the floodplains and reject the assumption that flooding has no effect on the epiphytic community.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Araceae
  • Epiphytes
  • Flooding effects
  • Habitat heterogeneity
  • Lowland rain forest
  • Species composition
  • Species distribution
  • Species turnover
  • α-diversity

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