Plant species diversity may be seriously threatened in ecotone zones under global climate change. Therefore, keeping updated inventories of indicator species seems to be a good strategy for monitoring wild areas located in these strips. The database comes from an inventory of climbers and vascular epiphytes conducted in the Cerro Ñielol Natural Monument, a small protected area (89 hectares) located in Chile's Mediterranean-temperate phytogeographic region, within the boundaries of the city of Temuco, La Araucaína Region.
The data represent the update of the first inventory carried out between 1980 and 1984. In this current contribution, data collection was carried out in 27 quadrats using the trails as transects. The data provide the record of 45 species (16 climbers, 15 epiphytes and 10 trees), including two accidental epiphytes ( Acer psudoplatanus L. and Gavilea odoratissima (L.) Endl. ex Griseb.), two species that can be found as epiphytes or terricolous ( Hymenophyllum tunbrigense (L.) Sm. and Nertera granadensis (Mutis ex L.f.) Druce) and one species ( Chusquea quila Kunth) that can be found as terricolous and climber. Species of interest were recorded on live trees (n = 51), snags (n = 9), stumps (n = 4), fallen log (n = 5) and on the forest soil (n = 17).
The most abundant climbers were Hydrangea serratifolia (Hook. & Arn.) F. Phil. (n = 77 stems), Lapageria rosea Ruiz & Pav. (n = 70 stems), Raukaua valdiviensis (Gay) Frodin (n = 48 stems) and Cissus striata Ruiz & Pav. (n = 33 stems). In contrast, the most abundant epiphytes were Hymenophyllum plicatum Kaulf. (n = 1728 fronds) and Hymenophyllum tunbrigense (L.) Sm. (n = 2375 fronds). These latter two species represent the highest frequency and abundance in the whole inventory, respectively. Several ecosystem traits are, in fact, new reports since the first inventory was conducted in 1980-1984; for example, the presence of the filmy fern Hymenophyllum tunbrigense , the record of the climber Elytropus chilensis , fallen logs or the species-host relationship. Accordingly, the database is made available in this manuscript.
This study updates the climbers and vascular epiphyte species list in the Cerro Ñielol Natural Monument, a small patch of forest under severe anthropogenic pressure. This protected area is characterised by floristic elements of the Mediterranean and temperate phytogeographic region of Chile, in a zone where forests have been severely deforested. The database includes the record of 45 species – including six species that were not recorded in the first inventory – in 211 records.
The main novelty of this contribution is the systematic classification of species, on ten traits rarely reported in a floristic inventory: (i) species taxonomic identity (as usual), (ii) species abundance (number of stems and fronds), (iii) habit (herb, shrub, subshrub, tree), (iv) growth form (accidental epiphyte, epiphyte, vine, liana, terricolous), (v) climbing mechanism (tendrils, adhesive roots, twining, scrambling), (vi) microhabitat (fallen log, footpath slope, soil, stump, trunk), (vii) host species (where appropriate), (viii) host condition (live, woody debris, snag), (ix) host diameter at breast height (DBH) and (x) target species found over 2.3 m on trees.
Thirty years after the first inventory conducted between 1980 and 1984, the climber assemblage has remained relatively stable over time, although there are some differences in species composition. Specifically, the climber Elytropus chilensis are recorded in the current inventory, but the Mitraria coccinea (recorded in the first inventory) is not present. On the other hand, the epiphyte assemblage showed an increase in the species richness of filmy ferns, with five previously unrecorded species: Hymenophyllum cuneatum , H. dicranotrichum , H. pectinatum , H. peltatum and H. tunbrigense . One of the novel features was the presence of Sarmienta scandens and Synammia feuillei on a Pinus radiata D. Don tree. Additionally, the introduced species Acer pseudoplatanus is included, which is new to the Chilean vascular plant catalogue. All these data are available in the present manuscript.