Patterns of diversity and distribution of bryophytes were surveyed across three different forest types: secondary montane forest and tree plantations of Cupressus lusitanica and of Pinus patula, in the Andean Central Cordillera of Colombia. A stratified sample design was employed to distribute 40 transects (50 × 40 m each) across forest types, each one conforming to a minimum of ten randomly selected plots of 1 m2. One-Way ANOVA and rarefaction curves were employed to analyze species richness. Species richness was weighted by the total number of plots surveyed in each transect with a minimum of 10 plots with bryophytes present. Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) was used to analyze the patterns of distribution of bryophyte species among forest types. Correlation analyses were employed to test the influence of environmental and spatial factors for species richness and distribution. A total of 151 species were recorded. Weighted species richness was higher in secondary montane forests and cypress plantations than in pine plantations. Bryophyte abundances differed among forest types, with the highest level recored for the cypress plantations. The DCA showed a high floristic similarity among forest types. Soil pH, slope and light availability were the principle factors explaining bryophyte distribution, which support habitat specialization as the main mechanism addressing species distribution within forest types. At a mesoscale level, however, a continuous dispersal of propagules among forest types was considered the main mechanism determining the regional pattern of bryophyte distribution.
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