Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Are neotropical predictors of forest epiphyte–host relationships consistent in Indonesia?

  • Robin Martin Hayward (a1), Thomas Edward Martin (a2), Timothy Michael Arthur Utteridge (a3), Abdul Haris Mustari (a4) and Andrew Robert Marshall (a1) (a5)...

Epiphytes represent keystone resources for many arthropod and vertebrate species, however their ecology remains poorly explored, especially within the palaeotropics. Several recent studies have examined relationships between epiphyte richness and characteristics of local habitats, although these have all focused on neotropical forests. Here, we aim to determine whether predictors of neotropical epiphyte richness are consistent at a palaeotropical site. A total of 44 host trees (dbh range 25–288 cm) were sampled at two study sites on Buton Island, Indonesia. For each tree, epiphyte richness and seven variables relating to characteristics of the host tree and surrounding habitats were recorded: site (a proxy value for disturbance level and water availability), host above-ground biomass (agb), altitude, bark texture, exposure, emergence and crown area. Gaussian GLM analyses indicated that the percentage deviance explained in epiphyte richness per host was greatest for agb (20.9%), crown area (19.6%) and site (15.5%); similar to previous findings from the neotropics. Results therefore suggest that high epiphyte diversity within palaeotropical forests is most likely to be found in large tracts of undisturbed forest, supporting large, broad-crowned trees.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. Email:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

M. G. BARKER & M. A. PINARD 2001. Forest canopy research: sampling problems, and some solutions. Plant Ecology 153:2338.

J. BARLOW , L. A. M. MESTRE , T. A. GARDNER & C. A. PERES 2007. The value of primary, secondary and plantation forests for Amazonian birds. Biological Conservation 136:212231.

D. H. BENZING 1998. Vulnerabilities of tropical forests to climate change: the significance of resident epiphytes. Climatic Change 39:519540.

R. M. CALLAWAY , K. O. REINHART , G. W. MOORE & S. C. PENNINGS 2002. Epiphyte host preferences and host traits: mechanisms for species-specific interactions. Oecologia 132:221230.

C. L. CARDELUS , R. K. COLWELL & J. E. WATKINS 2006. Vascular epiphyte distribution patterns: explaining the mid-elevation richness peak. Journal of Ecology 94:144156.

J. CHAVE , D. A. COOMES , S. JANSEN , S. L. LEWIS , N. G. SWENSON & A. E. ZANNE 2009. Towards a worldwide wood economics spectrum. Ecology Letters 12:351366.

J. CHAVE , M. RÉJOU-MÉCHAIN , A. BÚRQUEZ , E. CHIDUMAYO , M. S. COLGAN , W. B. C. DELITTI , A. DUQUE , T. EID , P. M. FEARNSIDE , R. C. GOODMAN , M. HENRY , A. MARTÍNEZ-YRÍZAR , W. A. MUGASHA , H. C. MULLER-LANDAU , M. MENCUCCINI , B. W. NELSON , A. NGOMANDA , E. M. NOGUEIRA , E. ORTIZ-MALAVASSI , R. PÉLISSIER , P. PLOTON , C. M. RYAN , J. G. SALDARRIAGA & G. VIEILLEDENT 2015. Improved allometric models to estimate above ground biomass of tropical trees. Global Change Biology 20:31773190.

R. T. CORLETT & R. B. PRIMACK 2011. Tropical rain forests: an ecological and biogeographical comparison. (Second edition). Wiley-Blackwell, Singapore.

R. G. DIAS-TERCEIRO , G. M. PEIXOTO , V. S. GOMES , M. C. MENEZES , E. C. NECO , T. S. A. PESSOA , J. R. FABRICANTE & M. B. ALBUQUERQUE 2015. Edge effect on vascular epiphytic composition in a fragment of Atlantic Forest in northeastern Brazil. Acta Botanica Brasilica 29:270273.

T. M. FAYLE , A. Y. C. CHUNG , A. J. DUMBRELL , P. EGGLETON & W. A. FOSTER 2009. The effect of rain forest canopy architecture on the distribution of epiphytic ferns (Asplenium spp.) in Sabah, Malaysia. Biotropica 41:676681.

A. H. GENTRY & C. H. DODSON 1987. Diversity and biogeography of Neotropical vascular epiphytes. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 74:205233.

G. R. GILLESPIE , S. HOWARD , J. T. STROUD , A. UL-HASSANAH , M. CAMPLING , B. LARDNER , M. P. SCROGGIE & M. KUSRINI 2015. Responses of tropical forest herpetofauna to moderate anthropogenic disturbance and effects of natural habitat variation in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Biological Conservation 192: 161173.

R. C. GOODMAN , O. L. PHILLIPS & T. R. BAKER 2014. The importance of crown dimensions to improve tropical tree biomass estimates. Ecological Applications 24:680698.

R. C. C. HSU & J. H. D. WOLF 2009. Diversity and phytogeography of vascular epiphytes in a tropical-subtropical transition island, Taiwan. Flora – Morphology Distribution Funtional Ecology of Plants 204:612627.

R. C. C. HSU , W. L. M. TAMIS , N. RAES , G. R. DE SNOO , J. H. D. WOLF , G. OOSTERMEIJER & S. H. LIN 2012. Simulating climate change impacts on forests and associated vascular epiphytes in a subtropical island of East Asia. Diversity and Distributions 18: 334347.

S. LAUBE & G. ZOTZ 2003. Which abiotic factors limit vegetative growth in a vascular epiphyte? Functional Ecology 17: 598604.

T. D. MALE & G. E. ROBERTS 2005. Host associations of the strangler fig Ficus watkinsiana in a subtropical Queensland rain forest. Austral Ecology 30: 229236.

N. M. NADKARNI , G. PARKER & M. LOWMAN 2011. Forest canopy studies as an emerging field of science. Annals of Forest Science 68:217224.

A. POWLING , A. PHILLIPS , R. PRITCHETT , S. T. SEGAR , R. WHEELER & A. MARDIASTUTI 2015. The vegetation of Lambusango Forest, Buton, Indonesia. Reinwardtia 14:265286.

C. L. WOODS , C. L. CARDELUS & S. J. DEWALT 2015. Microhabitat associations of vascular epiphytes in a wet tropical forest canopy. Journal of Ecology 103:421430.

A. F. ZUUR , E. N. IENO & C. S. ELPHICK 2010. A protocol for data exploration to avoid common statistical problems. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 1:314.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Tropical Ecology
  • ISSN: 0266-4674
  • EISSN: 1469-7831
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-tropical-ecology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 11
Total number of PDF views: 59 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1022 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 9th January 2017 - 1st May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.