Original paper

Phytosociology, ecology and life strategies of a remarkable epiphytic bryophyte community of Socotra Island, Yemen

Kürschner, Harald


Based on a phytosociological analysis, the epiphytic Lejeuneo rhodesiae-Sematophylletum socotrensis is described from the upper parts of Haghier Mountains of Socotra Island. It is typical for the evergreen Afromontane woodland and forests shrouded in heavy fogs and mists. Dependant on altitude, forest structure, life conditions and humidity, three subassociations — typicum, hyophiletosum involutae (drought-tolerant), and papillarietosum croceae (sciadophytic humid) — can be distinguished. The life form and life strategy analysis of the association clearly indicates the influence of the ecological site conditions. The drought-tolerant subassociations hyophiletosum involutae and typicum, both are dominated by mat and short-turf forming perennial stayers or perennial shuttle species with regular sporophyte formation. By contrast, pendant and mat forming perennial stayers and perennial shuttle species with large spores indicating short-range dispersal and a 'passive' (e.g., moderatey low reproduction) or 'generative' reproduction dominate the sciadophytic and humid subassociation papillarietosum croceae. In additon, the latter subassociation shows a much higer diversity in species number, life forms and life strategies.


bryophytesecologyepiphyteslife formslife strategiesphytosociologysocotrasyntaxonomyyemen