An overview on epiphytism as a direct mechanism of facilitation in tropical forests

An overview on epiphytism as a direct mechanism of facilitation in tropical forests

Author Francisco, Talitha Mayumi Google Scholar
Garbin, Mario Luis Google Scholar
Castanho, Camila de Toledo Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Ruiz-Miranda, Carlos Ramon Google Scholar
Abstract Direct facilitation is characterized by the positive effect of one individual on the other through changes in abiotic conditions and the creation of novel habitats. We aimed to present a systematic review of the literature about direct facilitation in tropical forests, emphasizing knowledge gaps and suggesting future lines of inquiry. We asked: (1) What is the existing literature about direct facilitation in tropical forests? (2) What kind of methodological approach (experimental or observational) has been more used? (3) What kind of study, pairwise species or community level, are more common? (4) What vegetative habits are more common between facilitators and facilitated species? (5) What hypotheses are more commonly tested? (6) How often epiphytism has been approached as facilitation? Based on literature search, we found thirty-five studies examining direct facilitation in plants mainly in the Neotropics (69%). The number of observational and experimental studies was similar. Most studies were based on pairwise comparisons of species. Trees were the most common nurse plants representing 51% of the studies, followed by shrubs (20%). This was the same for facilitated plants: trees corresponded to 48% and shrubs to 21%. The most common facilitation mechanism in tropical forest was the improvement of aboveground microclimate conditions (43%). Epiphytism is still marginally explored (11%, only 4 out of 35 studies) as a direct mechanism of facilitation. Given that about nine per cent of the world vascular flora are epiphytes that demand facilitators to survive, it is timely to widen the scope of field studies about facilitation towards such direct mechanisms.
Keywords Commensalism
plant community
plant-plant interaction
positive interaction
systematic review
xmlui.dri2xhtml.METS-1.0.item-coverage Varanasi
Language English
Sponsor Coordenacao de Aperfeicoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior (CAPES)
Date 2018
Published in Tropical Ecology. Varanasi, v. 59, n. 1, 2018.
ISSN 0564-3295 (Sherpa/Romeo, impact factor)
Publisher Int Soc Tropical Ecology
Extent -
Access rights Open access Open Access
Type Revisão
Web of Science ID WOS:000432607300001

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