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Host tree bark traits and development of reintroduced Cattleya intermedia (Orchidaceae) plants in Southern Brazil


The traits of the bark of host trees can influence the distribution and development of epiphytes. Bark samples were suspended in 10 and 20 mL of distilled water for 1, 4 and 24 h, to evaluate pH determination methods. Bark samples of Myrcia brasiliensis, M. glabra and Myrsine coriacea, three host trees of Cattleya intermedia had bark samples collected from the trunk and the crown, for the evaluation of the pH, water retention capacity and thickness. Shoot height (cm) and number of roots of C. intermedia grown on trunk and into the crown of the three species were evaluated. Volume of solvent and suspension time of the bark samples influenced pH values. The pH and thickness of Myrsine coriacea barks were higher when compared to Myrcia species. Shoot height and number of roots of C. intermedia individuals were significantly higher in the crown. The growth parameters of the reintroduced plants were unrelated to pH and bark thickness. The data bring information for the application of further vascular epiphyte studies including new parameters and greater samplings, in order to support proposals of the conservation of endangered species.

Key words:
bark features; conservation; plant ecophysiology; vascular epiphytes

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