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Title: Drought Impacts Survivorship and Reproductive Strategies of an Epiphyllous Leafy Liverwort in Central Amazonia
Authors: Zartman, Charles Eugene
Amaral, July A.
Figueiredo, José N.
Sales Dambros, Cristian de
Keywords: Bryophyte
Drought Stress
Gene Expression
Generation Time
Growth Rate
Population Dynamics
Population Structure
Precipitation (climatology)
Reproductive Strategy
Naucleopsis Ulei
Radula Flaccida
Issue Date: 2015
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Biotropica
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 47, Número 2, Pags. 172-178
Abstract: Understanding how changing precipitation patterns impact the population dynamics of Amazonian plants is necessary for predicting their long-term survival. Most terrestrial plants are characterized by life cycles intractably slow for evaluating such demographic consequences. Due to the demands of surviving on an ephemeral substrate such as a leaf surface, epiphyllous (leaf-inhabiting) bryophytes have some of the fastest generation times for terrestrial plants. Considering these advantages, we investigated the demographic consequences of seasonality in precipitation during one-year of the epiphyllous bryophyte Radula flaccida Gott. (Radulaceae) in a central Amazonian rain forest. In a 1-ha sized study area, 154 epiphyll colonies from 18 phorophytes of the understory shrub Naucleopsis ulei (Warb.) Ducke (Moraceae) were marked and colony growth, extinction, recolonization, as well as rates of sexual and asexual expression were measured in nine demographic censuses. The probability of survivorship decreased in the dry season due to the synergistic effects of both increased leaf fall (e.g., loss of occupied patches) and colony mortality on persisting leaves. Asexual expression also declined significantly during the driest months; however, sexual expression, as measured by sporophyte density, was not related to seasonality. Logistic regression probabilities also indicate a minimum threshold colony size for optimal sporophyte expression. Lower survivorship and colony growth in the dry season along with reduced sporophyte production in smaller colonies implies that both demographic stability as well as population structure of Amazonian epiphyll species may be compromised whether climate models projecting prolonged droughts for the region are accurate. © 2015 The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1111/btp.12201
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