Quantifying the abundance of four large epiphytic fern species in remnant complex notophyll vine forest on the Atherton Tableland, north Queensland, Australia

  • Epiphytes are generally considered rare in complex forests on the western edge of the Atherton Tablelands, north Queensland. This assertion is based on comparisons with wetter forests in the Wet Tropics bioregion, but is of limited use in restoration projects where targets need to be quantified. We quantified ‘rarity’ for a subset of the epiphyte community in one of the largest remaining patches of Type 5b rainforest at Wongabel State Forest(17°18' S, 145°28' E). The bundance of large individuals of the epiphytic fern species Asplenium australasicum, Drynaria rigidula, Platycerium bifurcatum, and Platycerium superbum were recorded from 100 identified midstorey or canopy trees. Epiphytes were less rare than the canopy trees sampled, averaging 1.7 individuals per tree. A clumped distribution was suggested with large epiphytes only occurring on 57 of the 100 trees. As tree size increased so did the number of individuals and species of large epiphytes recorded; only trees taller than 20 m yielded more than one epiphyte. Trees from the Meliaceae and Rutaceae hosted the most epiphytes, but host tree specificity patterns were not conclusive. Techniques for including epiphytes in restoration planning and projects are considered, and a quantified restoration target for epiphyte communities in Type 5b plantings is outlined.

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Author:Jason Cummings, Michelle Martin, Anne Rogers
Parent Title (English):Cunninghamia : a journal of plant ecology for eastern Australia
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2013/07/18
Year of first Publication:2006
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2013/07/18
Page Number:7
First Page:521
Last Page:527
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 58 Pflanzen (Botanik) / 580 Pflanzen (Botanik)
Sammlungen:Sammlung Biologie / Sondersammelgebiets-Volltexte
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:Cunninghamia : A Journal of Plant Ecology for Eastern Australia / Cunninghamia : A Journal of Plant Ecology for Eastern Australia, Volume 9, Issue 4 (2006)
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht