Original paper

Ecology and life strategies of epiphytic bryophyte communities from the Arcto-Tertiary relict forests of the Black and Caspian Sea areas

Kürschner, Harald; Kırmacı, Mesut; Erdağ, Adnan; Batsatsashvili, Ketevan; Parolly, Gerald

Abstract

The Euxine-Caucasian-Hyrcanian floristic region is an outstanding forest refuge area, formerly densely covered by broad-leaved deciduous and mixed evergreen lowland and montane forests. Besides numerous relict species of Arcto-Tertiary and Indo-Malesian origin, a lush and dense epiphytic bryophyte flora can be observed, whose development is favoured by the humid to perhumid climate conditions. A first phytosociological analysis of this epiphytic bryophyte vegetation reveals two distinct zonal communities new to science, viz. the Palamocladio euchloronis-Leucodontetum immersi (lowland forests) and the Pseudoleskeello nervosae-Leucodontetum immersi (mountain forests), both harbouring Southwest Asian endemics, such as Forsstroemia remotifolia, Leucodon immersus and Palamocladium euchloron. Dependent on the site ecology, species assemblages and geographical range, one subassociation and a geographical variant can be further distinguished within the Palamocladio euchloronis-Leucodontetum immersi, while the more uniform Pseudoleskeello nervosae-Leucodontetum immersi comprises a geographical variant and an ecological variant, only. A life form and life strategy analysis of the communities confirms the common adaptive trends outlined for epiphytic bryophytes already in earlier studies.

Keywords

adaptive traitsazerbaijanbryophytesfunctional typesgeorgiairanlife formslife strategiesturkey