Diversity, composition and host-species relationships of epiphytic orchids and ferns in two forests in Nepal Diversity, composition and host-species relationships of epiphytic orchids and ferns in two forests in Nepal

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Vol14 No.6: 1065-1075

Title】Diversity, composition and host-species relationships of epiphytic orchids and ferns in two forests in Nepal

Author】Yagya P. ADHIKARI1, 5*; Anton FISCHER1; Hagen S. FISCHER1; Maan B. ROKAYA2,3*; Prakash BHATTARAI4; Axel GRUPPE5

Addresses】1 Geobotany, Department of Ecology and Ecosystem Management, Technische Universität München, Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2, 85354 Freising, Germany; 2 Institute of Botany, Czech Academy of Sciences, Zamek 1, CZ-252 43 Průhonice, Czech Republic; 3 Department of Biodiversity Research, Global Change Research Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences, Bělidla 4a, 603 00 Brno, Czech Republic; 4 Department of Biology, University of Bergen, Postboks 7803, N-5020 Bergen, Norway; 5 Zoology - Entomology, Department of Animal Science, Technische Universität München, Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2, 85354 Freising, Germany

Corresponding author】adhikari@wzw.tum.de; rokayamaan@gmail.com

Citation】Adhikari YP, FischerA, Fischer HS, et al. (2017) Diversity, composition and host-species relationships of epiphytic orchids and ferns in two forests in Nepal. Journal of Mountain Science 14(6 ). DOI: 10.1007/s11629-016-4194-x

DOI】10.1007/s11629-016-4194-x

Abstract】Epiphytic plant species are an important part of biological diversity. It is therefore essential to understand the distribution pattern and the factors influencing such patterns. The present study is aimed at observing the patterns of species richness, abundances and species composition of epiphytic orchids and ferns in two subtropical forests in Nepal. We also studied the relationship of host plants (Schima wallichii andQuercus lanata) and epiphyte species. Data were collected in Naudhara community forest (CF) and the national forest (NF) in Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park. The data were analyzed using univariate and multivariate tests. In total, we recorded 41 species of epiphytes (33 orchid and 8 fern species). Orchid species abundance is significantlyhigher in CF compared to NF. Orchid species richness and abundance increased with increasing southern aspect whereas it decreased with increasing canopy cover, and fern species richness increased with host bark roughness. Orchid abundance was positively correlated with increasing bark pH, stem size, tree age and tree height and negatively correlated with increasing steepness of the area. Likewise, fern abundances were high in places with high canopy cover, trees that were tall and big, but decreased with increasing altitude and southern aspect. The composition of the orchid and fern species was affected by altitude, aspect, canopy cover, DBH, number of forks and forest management types. We showed that the diversity of orchid and fern epiphytes is influenced by host characteristics as well as host types. The most important pre-requisite for a high epiphyte biodiversity is the presence of old respectively tall trees, independent of the recent protection status. This means: (i) for protection, e.g. in the frame of the national park declaration, such areas should be used which host such old tall trees; and (ii) also in managed forests and even in intensively used landscapes epiphytes can be protected by letting a certain number of trees be and by giving them space to grow old and tall.

Keywords】Environmental factors;Epiphytes;Large trees;Indicator species;Multivariate and univariate analyses;Permutations tests