Translator Disclaimer
1 July 2008 The impacts of Hurricane Wilma on the epiphytes of El Edén Ecological Reserve, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Author Affiliations +
Abstract
Small and large-scale perturbations can have important impacts on a wide range of biota. Hurricanes are a dominant perturbation in tropical ecosystems. A 1500 ha seasonally dry tropical forest reserve in Quintana Roo, Mexico, was analyzed for epiphyte composition across different seral stages and forest types, including mature forest, tintal wetland area, and secondary vegetation. One-kilometer belt transects (6000 m2) were sampled in each forest type before and after Hurricane Wilma. The surveys revealed twenty three species of vascular epiphytes, primarily from the Bromeliaceae and Orchidaceae families. Immediately following Wilma, fewer than half of previously recorded individuals were observed, while overall species composition differed little. The wetland area sustained losses of 64%, and the mature forest lost 28% of epiphyte individuals. However, the epiphyte communities in the wetland area contained greater than 50% of all observed individuals both before and after the hurricane, thus representing the largest new source pool. Under a changing climate regime of increasing hurricanes, vascular epiphytes of the Yucatán Peninsula may suffer disproportionate losses compared with understory plants. Ultimately, epiphytes must be studied within the framework of community ecology in order to understand the severity of these losses.
Laurel K. Goode and Michael F. Allen "The impacts of Hurricane Wilma on the epiphytes of El Edén Ecological Reserve, Quintana Roo, Mexico 1," The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 135(3), (1 July 2008). https://doi.org/10.3159/07-RA-052.1
Received: 26 November 2007; Accepted: ; Published: 1 July 2008
JOURNAL ARTICLE
11 PAGES


SHARE
ARTICLE IMPACT
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top