Cite as:
Fadrique, B. & Homeier, J. (2016): Elevation and topography influence community structure, biomass and host tree interactions of lianas in tropical montane forests of southern Ecuador. Journal of Vegetation Science 27, 958-968

Resource Description

Title: Elevation and topography influence community structure, biomass and host tree interactions of lianas in tropical montane forests of southern Ecuador
FOR816dw ID: 1483
Publication Date: 2016-06-13
License and Usage Rights: PAK 823-825 data user agreement. (
Resource Owner(s):
Individual: Belén Fadrique
Individual: Jürgen Homeier
Questions: How does the structure of liana communities (diameter, density and biomass) in tropical montane forests vary along elevation and topographic gradients? How do patterns of tree infestation vary with elevation? Is tree diameter growth reduced by lianas in tropicalmontane forest?

Location: Tropical Andean forests (1000–3000 m a.s.l.) in the San Francisco Reserve and in the Podocarpus National Park, southern Ecuador.

Methods: All lianas (DBH ? 1 cm) were censused in 54 permanent plots (20 9 20 m) equally distributed between three study sites (1000, 2000 and 3000 m a.s.l.) and three topographic positions (lower, mid and upper slope) per site (six replicate plots at each site by position combination). The DBH and number of lianas hosted was recorded for all trees (DBH ? 10 cm). Liana biomass
was estimated using allometric equations. ANOVAs were used to test for effects of elevation and slope positions on liana parameters and proportion of trees infested. The relationships between liana biomass and tree parameters and environmental
parameters were analysed with partial least squares regression. We
used the available literature data to perform a regression analysis of liana biomass in response to elevation in humid tropical old-growth forests between sea level and 3000 ma.s.l.

Results: Liana diameter, density and biomass all decrease with elevation. The decreasing liana biomass agrees with results from previous studies of liana biomass in other humid tropical forests, indicating a decrease of 0.18 Mg/ha liana biomass per 100 m of elevation gain. Topographic variation leads to thinner but more abundant stems upslope; there was no effect of topographic position on liana biomass. Liana biomass and liana infestation are both positively correlated with host tree DBH at every elevation. Tree diameter growth is reduced by liana
infestation; the proportion of infested trees is lower in Andean montane forests than in tropical lowland forests.

Conclusions: Liana biomass distribution and tree infestation vary significantly with elevation. Biomass of lianas and relative contribution of lianas to total above-ground biomass both decrease with elevation. Topographic effects likely result fromhigher soil fertility at lower slope positions.
| tree growth | MATRIX | elevation | liana | liana biomass |
Literature type specific fields:
Journal: Journal of Vegetation Science
Volume: 27
Page Range: 958-968
Metadata Provider:
Individual: Jürgen Homeier
Online Distribution:
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