Acta Botanica Brasilica
Print version ISSN 0102-3306
SCHNEIDER, Paulo Henrique and SCHMITT, Jairo Lizandro. Composition, community structure and vertical distribution of epiphytic ferns on Alsophila setosa Kaulf., in a Semideciduous Seasonal Forest, Morro Reuter, RS, Brazil. Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2011, vol.25, n.3, pp.557-565. ISSN 0102-3306. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-33062011000300007.
In tropical forests, tree ferns constitute an important phorophyte for the establishment and occurrence of epiphytic species. Composition, structure and vertical distribution of epiphytic ferns were studied on Alsophila setosa Kaulf., in a semideciduous seasonal forest fragment, in the city of Morro Reuter (29º32'07"S and 51º05'26"W), in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The sample consisted of 60 caudices of at least 4 m high, which were divided in 1 m intervals from the ground. The specific importance value was estimated trough the coverage value and caudex frequency at the intervals. A total of 14 species was recorded, belonging to 10 genera and five families. The highest specific richness occurred in Polypodiaceae. The rarefaction curve for the total sample did not reach an asymptote with an estimated 14.98 to 16.95 species, showing that a few species could still be recorded. The species with the highest importance value and vertical amplitude was Blechnum binervatum (Poir.) C.V. Morton & Lellinger, with a decreasing frequency from bottom to top of the caudex. Considering the predominance of habitual holoepiphytes, the removal of Alsophila setosa caudices compromises microhabitat availability for epiphytes in the forest understory.
Keywords : Epiphytes; richness estimators; tree fern.