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Acta Botanica Brasilica

Print version ISSN 0102-3306


BIANCHI, Juliana Santos  and  KERSTEN, Rodrigo de Andrade. Edge effect on vascular epiphytes in a subtropical Atlantic Forest. Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2014, vol.28, n.1, pp.120-126. ISSN 0102-3306.

Forest fragmentation affects biological communities by reducing habitat and increasing edges, thus reducing the effective size of the habitable zones. The subtropical atlantic Araucaria forest, typical on the southern Brazil, in some regions has been reduced to less than 1% of its original size lasting only in small isolated fragments. This study aimed to analyse the impact the edge has on vascular epiphyte ensemble in a remnant of Araucaria forest. We surveyed 40 host trees in four transects: one at the edge; and three at 15, 30 and 60 m from the edge. On each host tree we estimated the epiphyte biomass, using four size classes. We compared the transects using Jackknife estimator of absolute species number, diversity indices, non-metric multi-dimensional scaling and multi-response permutation procedure analysis. We recorded 85 epiphytes species. Absolute species richness and diversity were lower at the edge and higher at 60 m in from the edge. Shannon's evenness did not differ significantly among transects and Simpson's evenness values were inconsistent. The vascular epiphyte community under study was significantly altered by the edge.

Keywords : Disturbed areas; Araucaria forest; subtropical Atlantic Forest; fragmentation.

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