cover

Life Forms and Dynamics in Tropical Forests

Edited by: Gerhard Gottsberger; Sigrid Liede; Techn. Ed.: Robert Lücking

2001. VIII, 216 pages, 86 figures, 23 tables, 14x22cm, 450 g
Language: English

(Dissertationes Botanicae, Band 346)

ISBN 978-3-443-64259-4, paperback, price: 52.00 €

in stock and ready to ship

Order form

BibTeX file

Keywords

LianeEpiphyteVegationsstrukturAmerikaAfrikaTropical ForestAmericaAfricaecosystem

Contents

Synopsis top ↑

Tropical forests are certainly the fastest shrinking ecosystems on earth. At the same time, they are the least studied habitats on continental earth. For most areas, we even don't have complete inventories for the best-known groups of organisms, such as the angiosperms, not even mentioning less well-known groups.
Without identification keys and knowledge of the life cycles of the participating organisms, studying interaction in as complex an ecosystem as a tropical forest is a very difficult undertaking.

The twelve contributions in this volume give an idea how diverse the aspects to be studied can be - and these aspects cover only a small scope of the possibilities. Some of the contributions were presented during the XI.th International Botanical Congress, St. Louis, Missouri in the symposium "Life forms and strategies in tropical forests". Geographically, most of these studies have been carried out in the Americas, two in Africa, and none in Asia and Oceania. This shows that the current hotspot of tropical forest research lies in South America, which also has the highest diversity of plants yet undescribed.
The general structure of forests, their diversity and structure is subject of two papers. Porembski describes a gallery forest in the northeastern Ivory Coast acting as extrazonal corridor for Guineo-Congolian rainforest species, allowing migration of these species far beyond their distributional area under zonal climatic conditions. Siqueira, Rodal, Linse-Silva & Melo describe a secondary lowland forest remnant of the much-reduced Brazilian Atlantic forest. As should be expected in a secondary forest, the canopy is formed by large pioneer trees, but Siqueira et al. also note an unusually high percentage of dead trees indicating ongoing succession. Carvalho & Oliveira-Filho present the third paper on forest structure with an emphasis on gap dynamics in a Brazilian cloud forest. Their estimated canopy turnover time of 149 years is in line with the time found in the Americas in other studies; however, they cite a much longer turnover time for Africa (Ivory Coast) and a much shorter one for India, a result asking for confirmation by further studies and for a study of possible causes.
The bulk of papers refers to particular guilds in a tropical forest. Lücking studied tropical rainforest leaves as habitat for foliicolous lichens. Cordova & Del Castillo observed epiphytes of various systematic affiliation and found that abundances of mosses, liverworts and vascular plants were positively correlated, while microlichen cover decreased as the cover of mosses and vascular plants increased. Only lichen cover was not affected by the age of the stand, while cover by other epiphytes increased with age. Hemp studied epiphytic and non-epiphytic ferns on Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, where he could distinguish six fern groups with special strategies and three types of growth and dormancy correlating well with the altitudinal zonation on the mountain. Kazda & Mehltreter compared lianas and their supporting trees and shrubs in terms of mineral content and leaf mass per unit area. Independent of taxonomic differences, lianas showed a lower leaf mass per unit area than their self-supporting relatives. Differences in mineral content, though, seem to be dependent on the soil conditions at the site. Climatic gradients and their influence on life form frequency in Cyclanthaceae were studied by Freiberg & Gottsberger with the result that soil water content was more important than air microclimate for terrestrial and root climbing species, while epiphytes would show a reversed pattern.

Life cycles and reproductive biology were in the focus of study of the remaining four papers. Charles-Dominique, Chave, Vezzoli, Dubois & Riéra extended on the life cycle of Astrocaryum sciophilum, an understory palm, with an extremely long juvenile stage which can possibly be used as indicator of forest age. Silberbauer-Gottsberger, Webber, Küchmeister & Gottsberger have studied cantharophily and the associated adaptive traits in four different plant families in the Central Amazonian rainforest. Benítez-Malvido, Martínez-Ramos & Ceccon assessed the relative contribution of the seed rain and soil seed bank on the density and recruitment of tree seedlings in contrasting successional habitats (primary forest, secondary forest, and pasture) in southeastern Mexico. They also investigated effects of seed predators, dispersers, proximity to forest remnants, abiotic conditions and species life history on the recruitment of tree seedlings in different successional forest stages. Finally, Stevens could show that in 19 Bignoniaceae from the cerrados in Central Brazil, investment in flowers, fruits and seeds relative to leaves is independent of growth form and species, while it depends on size distribution of reproductive individuals within populations. Flower production increases exponentially with size of individuals, but fruit production does not. Therefore, old, large individuals sire much more flowers than they develop fruits.

These examples show how many facets of forest biology must be investigated - and how few of them have been studied to date. Even fewer have been explored in a comparative manner in different regions, so that we normally still don't know whether an effect has general or more or less local character. However, these studies also provide a roadmap for future investigations in forest ecosystems.

Bespr.: Tuexenia 23, 2003 top ↑

Dieser Band (52 EUR) fällt etwas aus dem gewohnten Rahmen. Er enthält 12 Beiträge, großenteils entstanden aus Vorträgen auf dem Internationalen Botanikerkongress in St Louis. Die Untersuchungen wurden vorwiegend in Amerika, zwei in Afrika gemacht. Es geht um Vegetationsstruktur (nicht nur Lebensformen) und deren Diversität in Primär- und Sekundärwäldern, kurz- bis langzeitige Dynamik. Eine wichtige Rolle spielen Lianen und Epiphyten, von großen Gefäßpflanzen bis zu Kleinflechten auf Blättern. Neben strukturellen geht es auch um populationsbiologische und ökologische Parameter vom Boden bis zum Mikroklima, insgesamt ein breites Spektrum von Fragestellungen und Ergebnissen aus einem aktuellen Forschungsgebiet.

H.Dierschke

Tuexenia 23, 2003

Inhaltsverzeichnis top ↑

Preface VII
Forest structure and dynamics 1
Phytodiversity and structure of the Comoé River gallery forest (NE
Ivory Coast) 1
S. POREMBSKI
Physiognomy, structure, and floristics in an area of Atlantic forest
in northeast Brazil 11
D. R. SIQUEIRA, M. J. N. RODAL, A. C. B. LINS-E-SILVA & A. L. MELO
Distribution, size and dynamics of canopy gaps in a cloud forest of
the Ibitipoca range, southeastern Brazil 29
L. M. T. DE CARVALHO & A. T. DE OLIVEIRA-FILHO
Life forms and their ecology 41
Lichens on leaves in tropical rainforests: life in a permanently
ephemerous environment 41
R. LÜCKING
Changes in epiphyte cover in three chronosequences in a tropical
montane cloud forest in Mexico 79
J. CORDOVA & R. F. DEL CASTILLO
Life forms and strategies of forest ferns on Mt. Kilimanjaro 95
A. HEMP
Contrasting leaf nutrition and leaf mass per unit area in lianas and
trees from the subtropical island Martin Garcia, Argentina 131
M. KAZDA & K. MEHLTRETER
Influence of climatic gradients on life form frequency of
Cyclanthaceae in the Reserve Naturelle des Nouragues, French Guiana 141
M. FREIBERG & G. GOTTSBERGER
Growth strategy of the understorey Palm Astrocaryum sciophilum in the
rainforest of French Guiana 153
P. CHARLES-DOMINIQUE, J. CHAVE, C. VEZZOLI, M.-A. DUBOIS & B. RIERA
Reproduction and regeneration 165
Convergence in beetle-pollinated central Amazonian Annonaceae,
Araceae, Arecaceae, and Cyclanthaceae 165
I. SILBERBAUER-GOTTSBERGER, A. C. WEBBER, H. KÜCHMEISTER &
G. GOTTSBERGER
Seed rain vs. seed bank, and the effect of vegetation cover on the
recruitment of tree seedlings in tropical successional vegetation 185
J. BENÍTEZ-MALVIDO, M. MARTÍNEZ-RAMOS & E. CECCON
Do old trees and shrubs fertilize their juniors? Investment and
success in reproduction of central Brazilian Bignoniaceae 205
A.-D. STEVENS

short synopsis top ↑

The twelve contributions in this volume cover a very wide range of topics in tropical forest ecology. The give an idea how diverse the aspects to be studied can be - and these aspects cover only a small scope of the possibilities. Some of the contributions were presented during the XI.th International Botanical Congress, St. Louis, Missouri in the symposium "Life forms and strategies in tropical forests".