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Host specificity in vascular epiphytes: a review of methodology, empirical evidence and potential mechanisms.

Wagner K, Mendieta-Leiva G, Zotz G - AoB Plants (2015)

Bottom Line: More refined expectations and adequate replication are needed to allow more rigorous conclusions.Host specificity could be caused by a large number of tree traits (e.g. bark characteristics and architectural traits), which influence epiphyte performance.After reviewing the empirical evidence for their relevance, we conclude that future research should use a more comprehensive approach by determining the relative importance of various potential mechanisms acting locally and by testing several proposed hypotheses regarding the relative strength of host specificity in different habitats and among different groups of structurally dependent flora.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Universität Oldenburg, Institut für Biologie und Umweltwissenschaften, AG Funktionelle Ökologie, Carl-von-Ossietzky-Straße 9-11, D-26111 Oldenburg, Germany ka.wagner@uni-oldenburg.de.

No MeSH data available.


Histogram of publication dates (1888 through 2013 in 5-year intervals). Included were those publications, in which inference on host specificity of vascular epiphytes is based on own field observations. Excluded were studies that investigate mechanisms based on observations published in prior publications, articles only concerned with host specificity in the discussion section and secondary literature. Different shading lines indicate publication quality. Categories are: conclusions based on statistical tests (statistics), conclusions based on quantitative data (quantitative) and conclusions based on non-quantified observations (observational).
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PLU092F1: Histogram of publication dates (1888 through 2013 in 5-year intervals). Included were those publications, in which inference on host specificity of vascular epiphytes is based on own field observations. Excluded were studies that investigate mechanisms based on observations published in prior publications, articles only concerned with host specificity in the discussion section and secondary literature. Different shading lines indicate publication quality. Categories are: conclusions based on statistical tests (statistics), conclusions based on quantitative data (quantitative) and conclusions based on non-quantified observations (observational).

Mentions: Vascular epiphytes represent ∼9 % of all vascular plant species (Zotz 2013b) and are a very important component of the plant assemblages of tropical wet forests (Gentry and Dodson 1987). However, notwithstanding their importance, our understanding of the mechanisms structuring epiphyte communities is still rather poor. Microclimate is a major determinant of the local distribution of vascular epiphytes as can be deduced from the vertical stratification of species documented in a large number of studies (e.g. Krömer et al. 2007; Zotz 2007). Host identity is another potential determinant, which has been invoked and/or investigated in >200 studies (Fig. 1, Appendix 1 [see Supporting Information]). However, while vertical gradients of microclimatic variables and epiphyte species distribution are relatively easy to document, the evidence for host specificity is much harder to obtain due to the complex vegetation structure and the multitude of candidate host traits.Figure 1.


Host specificity in vascular epiphytes: a review of methodology, empirical evidence and potential mechanisms.

Wagner K, Mendieta-Leiva G, Zotz G - AoB Plants (2015)

Histogram of publication dates (1888 through 2013 in 5-year intervals). Included were those publications, in which inference on host specificity of vascular epiphytes is based on own field observations. Excluded were studies that investigate mechanisms based on observations published in prior publications, articles only concerned with host specificity in the discussion section and secondary literature. Different shading lines indicate publication quality. Categories are: conclusions based on statistical tests (statistics), conclusions based on quantitative data (quantitative) and conclusions based on non-quantified observations (observational).
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4306756&req=5

PLU092F1: Histogram of publication dates (1888 through 2013 in 5-year intervals). Included were those publications, in which inference on host specificity of vascular epiphytes is based on own field observations. Excluded were studies that investigate mechanisms based on observations published in prior publications, articles only concerned with host specificity in the discussion section and secondary literature. Different shading lines indicate publication quality. Categories are: conclusions based on statistical tests (statistics), conclusions based on quantitative data (quantitative) and conclusions based on non-quantified observations (observational).
Mentions: Vascular epiphytes represent ∼9 % of all vascular plant species (Zotz 2013b) and are a very important component of the plant assemblages of tropical wet forests (Gentry and Dodson 1987). However, notwithstanding their importance, our understanding of the mechanisms structuring epiphyte communities is still rather poor. Microclimate is a major determinant of the local distribution of vascular epiphytes as can be deduced from the vertical stratification of species documented in a large number of studies (e.g. Krömer et al. 2007; Zotz 2007). Host identity is another potential determinant, which has been invoked and/or investigated in >200 studies (Fig. 1, Appendix 1 [see Supporting Information]). However, while vertical gradients of microclimatic variables and epiphyte species distribution are relatively easy to document, the evidence for host specificity is much harder to obtain due to the complex vegetation structure and the multitude of candidate host traits.Figure 1.

Bottom Line: More refined expectations and adequate replication are needed to allow more rigorous conclusions.Host specificity could be caused by a large number of tree traits (e.g. bark characteristics and architectural traits), which influence epiphyte performance.After reviewing the empirical evidence for their relevance, we conclude that future research should use a more comprehensive approach by determining the relative importance of various potential mechanisms acting locally and by testing several proposed hypotheses regarding the relative strength of host specificity in different habitats and among different groups of structurally dependent flora.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Universität Oldenburg, Institut für Biologie und Umweltwissenschaften, AG Funktionelle Ökologie, Carl-von-Ossietzky-Straße 9-11, D-26111 Oldenburg, Germany ka.wagner@uni-oldenburg.de.

No MeSH data available.