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      Reproductive phenology of epiphytes in Monteverde, Costa Rica Translated title: Fenología reproductiva de epífitas en Monteverde, Costa Rica.

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          Abstract:Phenology of plants, or the timing of life cycle events, is important for understanding plant ecology, forest dynamics, and plant-animal interactions. In tropical forests, studies that document epiphyte reproductive phenology are relatively few because of the challenges of tracking plants that live in the canopy. Phenological patterns for 279 individuals of 7 epiphyte species were examined across 12 months in a tropical montane forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Epiphytes were located in one of two common tree species, Ficus tuerckheimii (Moraceae) or Ocotea tonduzii (Lauraceae). Flowering and fruiting (i.e., when ripe or unripe fruit is present on the plant) of study plants was recorded on monthly intervals, and phenology was examined as a function of the season at the study site (i.e., wet, transition, or dry season), and pollinator syndrome (bird-, or insect-pollinated) and seed dispersal syndrome (bird-, bat-, or wind-dispersed) of each plant. Though some epiphyte species flowered and fruited throughout the year, the majority showed significant seasonality in phenological events. Based on circular statistics, the timing of mean flowering of different epiphyte species varied, however, timing of mean fruiting for most species tended to occur during the wet season. Insect- and bird-pollinated species had peak flowering during the dry season and late wet season, respectively. Bird-dispersed fruits were present each month of the year with peaks from February to October and again in December. Wind-dispersed fruits were observed eight months of the year with a peak in the early wet season. The timing of epiphyte flowering coincided with flowering of large trees in the area. Epiphyte fruiting, however, is distinct from large tree fruiting. Our results demonstrate the seasonal nature of flowering and fruiting in individual epiphyte species while also highlighted the asynchronous nature of phenological events amongst the epiphyte community.

          Translated abstract

          Resumen:La fenología de las plantas, o el cronograma de eventos en el ciclo de vida, es importante para la comprensión de la ecología vegetal, la dinámica de los bosques y de las interacciones planta-animal. En los bosques tropicales, los estudios que documentan la fenología de las epífitas son relativamente pocos debido a los desafíos que representa darles seguimiento a las plantas que viven en el dosel. Aquí se presenta un reporte de los patrones fenológicos de 279 individuos de 7 especies de epífitas que abarca 12 meses en un bosque montano tropical en Monteverde, Costa Rica. Las epífitas se encuentran en una de las dos especies de árboles comunes, Ficus tuerckheimii (Moraceae) u Ocotea tonduzii (Lauraceae). Se registró la floración y fructificación (i.e. cuando la fruta madura o inmadura está presente en la planta) de las plantas de estudio en intervalos mensuales y examinó la fenología a través de las estaciones en el sitio de estudio (i.e. estación húmeda, transición, o seca) y el síndrome de polinizadores (ave- , o insecto-polinización ) y el síndrome de dispersión de semillas (ave-, murciélago-, o viento- dispersión) de cada planta. Aunque la mayoría de las especies de epífitas tuvieron flores y frutos durante todo el año, la mayoría mostró estacionalidad significativa en los eventos fenoló-gicos. Con base en estadísticas circulares, el tiempo de floración promedio de las especies de epífitas es variado, sin embargo, el momento de la fructificación promedio para la mayoría de las especies tiende a ocurrir durante la estación húmeda. Especies de insectos y aves de polinización tenían pico de floración durante la estación seca y la estación lluviosa tarde, respectivamente. Frutas dispersadas por aves estaban presentes todos los meses del año con picos de febrero a octubre y de nuevo en diciembre. Frutas dispersadas por el viento se observaron ocho meses del año con un pico en la temporada de lluvias temprana. El momento de la floración de las epífitas coincidió con la floración de árboles de gran tamaño en la zona. La fructificación de las epífitas, sin embargo, fue diferente de la fructificación de los árboles de gran tamaño. Nuestros resultados ponen de manifiesto el carácter estacional de la floración y fructificación de las especies epífitas individuales, además de destacar el carácter asincrónico de los eventos fenológicos entre toda la comunidad de epífitas.

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          Most cited references 44

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          Temporal Variation in Birds and Fruits Along an Elevational Gradient in Costa Rica

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            Directed seed dispersal by bellbirds in a tropical cloud forest.

             Daniel Wenny,  D Levey (1998)
            A fundamental goal of plant population ecology is to understand the consequences for plant fitness of seed dispersal by animals. Theories of seed dispersal and tropical forest regeneration suggest that the advantages of seed dispersal for most plants are escape from seed predation near the parent tree and colonization of vacant sites, the locations of which are unpredictable in space and time. Some plants may gain in fitness as a fortuitous consequence of disperser behavior if certain species of dispersers nonrandomly place seeds in sites predictably favorable for seedling establishment. Such patterns of directed dispersal by vertebrates long have been suggested but never demonstrated for tropical forest trees. Here we report the pattern of seed distribution and 1-year seedling survival generated by five species of birds for a neotropical, shade-tolerant tree. Four of the species dispersed seeds to sites near the parent trees with microhabitat characteristics similar to those at random locations, whereas the fifth species, a bellbird, predictably dispersed seeds under song perches in canopy gaps. The pattern of seedling recruitment was bimodal, with a peak near parent trees and a second peak, corresponding to bellbird song perches, far (>40 m) from parent trees. Seedling survival was higher for seeds dispersed by bellbirds than by the other species, because of a reduction in seedling mortality by fungal pathogens in gaps. Thus, bellbirds play a significant role in seed dispersal by providing directed dispersal to favorable sites and therefore may influence plant recruitment patterns and species diversity in Neotropical forests.
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              Bistatistical analysis

               J. H. ZAR,  JH Zar,  J Zar (1999)

                Author and article information

                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Revista de Biología Tropical
                Rev. biol. trop
                Universidad de Costa Rica
                December 2015
                : 63
                : 4
                : 1119-1126
                [1 ] University of Wyoming United States
                [2 ] University of Utah United States

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 International License.

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