Ecosociological studies in Ecuadorian bryophyte communities I. Syntaxonomy, life strategies and ecomorphology of the oreal epiphytic vegetation of S Ecuador
Parolly, Gerald; Kürschner, Harald
The present study classifies the trunk epiphytic bryophyte vegetation of the uplands of S Ecuador (Reserva Biológica San Francisco, Parque Nacional Podocarpus) as a base for the subsequent ecosociological and life-strategical analysis. The oreal Herberto divergentis-Plagiochilion compressulae alliance from S America, described from Peru, is confirmed, set on a broader floristic base and conceptionally extended to include both trunk and canopy epiphytes. Two altitudinally arranged associations and one edaphic subassociation are newly described, covering the zonal temperate Macromitrio perreflexi-Pleurozietum paradoxae of the dwarf forests close to the timberline and the extrazonal Frullanio serratae-Holomitrietum sinuosi that marks montane Purdiaea nutans forests with an ‚oreal' structure and appearance. In addition, life forms, life strategies and water-conducting and water-storing structures of the species of these oreal bryophyte communities of S Ecuador are studied. For each community, the observed adaptations were shown, expressed as mean percentage cover value of each species and character. The analysis clearly supports the distinct common adaptive trends (functional types), which occur worldwide in tropical trunk-epiphytes, regardless of familial relationships and differing species assemblages of the communities.