A crucial need for population maintenance of epiphytic species is the location of suitable microsites on a host tree. Quantitative evaluation of epiphyte seed dispersal and germination is needed to more fully understand successful host colonization; this process is especially important in dry forests, where drought and oligotrophy diminish population growth rates. In a 3-year field experiment, we evaluated seed dispersal and germination of Tillandsia brachycaulos and explored some environmental factors affecting these life-cycle phases. There was significant variation in dispersal curves depending on year and height of seed release. Forty-one percent of seeds experimentally released were not dispersed and only ca. 0.5% of dispersed seeds were captured in seed traps. The number of trapped seeds decreased with distance; most seeds were captured within 1.5 m of the seed source. Seeds dispersed farther (15 m) when released from greater heights. Seed germination under controlled conditions (98%) was higher than in a field experiment (3%). Neither year nor tree height significantly affected germination of T. brachycaulos. Differences in seed dispersal and germination among years could result from variable precipitation. Establishment of new genets seems to be an important bottleneck for population growth in T. brachycaulos. Our results show that seed dispersal and germination are processes that determine such establishment.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.