Floristic richness of the cloud forest moss flora of Veracruz, Mexico
Delgadillo-Moya, Claudio; Villaseñor, José Luis; Ortiz, Enrique; Campos-Villanueva, Álvaro
The number of moss species in the Cloud forests of Veracruz has remained undetermined because of the controversy surrounding the forest designation and delimitation as well as incomplete sampling and lack of compilation of existing information. Various names and operational definitions have been proposed for cloud forests, but the latest, the Humid Mountain Forest (BHM), is the broadest in conceptual and geographical terms. While estimated floristic richness from forty two 12 ×12 minute cells predicted up to 590 moss taxa in BHM, even the most restrictive definition of cloud forest contained 323 species and varieties, as determined from field, herbarium and bibliographic sources. Considering the sensu stricto definition of cloud forest excludes the highest and lowest sites from the BHM definition, but even this more restricted area serves as a meeting ground for tropical and temperate moss taxa. Sites near the Sierra de Otontepec and the lower slopes of Orizaba Peak are particularly important for maintaining moss diversity in the BHM and cloud forest of Veracruz, since much of the area is compromised by human activities.