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Vascular epiphytes of the restinga forest of Praia do Sul, Ilha Grande, RJ, Brazil


Epiphytic plants show high richness and ecological importance in Atlantic Forest ecosystems. The present study aims to contribute to the knowledge of the vascular epiphyte flora of the restinga forest in Praia do Sul, Ilha Grande, RJ. We demarcated 52 subplots of 100 m2 in the Praia do Sul State Biological Reserve (RBEPS), inspected all the trees and recorded all the epiphytes found. We identified 31 species of vascular epiphytes, 21 genera and nine family, with nine new records for the island. The angiosperms were responsible for 80.6% of the species. Araceae and Philodendron were the family and genus with greatest wealth (22.6% and 16.1%, respectively). The main ecological category in relation to substrate fidelity is holoepiphyte, the form of pollination is entomophilia (64%) and dispersion is zoocoria (58.1%). Most species are endemic to the Atlantic Forest (63%) and have an unknown conservation status (74%). This is the first study on vascular epiphytes in Praia do Sul and highlights the importance of preserving the study area for the conservation of the vascular epiphytes of Ilha Grande and Rio de Janeiro.

Key words:
biodiversity; conservation; ecology; Atlantic Forest; pollination

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