Epiphytic bryophyte communities of the Madeiran laurel and ericaceous forests - a phytosociological analysis
Kürschner, Harald; Stech, Michael; Fontinha, Susana; Sim-Sim, Manuela; Frey, Wolfgang
A phytosociological analysis of the epiphytic bryophyte vegetation of the Madeiran laurel and ericaceous forests revealed seven communities, two of them new to the Macaronesian Islands: Echinodietum prolixi, with the subassociations typicum and andoetosum berthelotianae subass. nov., Plagiochilo punctatae-Myurietum hochstetteri ass. nov., Frullanietum polystictae, Marchesinietum mackaii (all typical for natural and/or disturbed laurel forests) and the Scapanio gracilis-Dicranetum scottiani with the subassociations typicum and dicranoweisietosum cirratae of the ericaceous forests, woodlands and thickets. Their character and differential species, species composition and distribution are given, which strongly depend on climate, forest structure and ecological site conditions and requirements. The high cover and frequence of syntaxonomical higher-ranked character species classify the laurel forest communities within the Echinodio-Neckerion intermediae alliance (syn. Cololejeuneo schaeferi-Porellion canariensis, syn. nov.), whereas the communities of the ericaceous forests are best placed within the Dicranion scottiani alliance. Both alliances can be included in the Frullanio teneriffae-Leucodontetalia canariensis order (holarctic Frullanio dilatatae-Leucodontetea sciuroidis class).