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Abstract Detail

Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS

Estremera-Moya , Irvin [1], Alvarez-García, Enox [1], Camacho-Garzón, Azucena [2], Sastre De Jesus, Ines [3], Acosta-Mercado, Dimaris [1].

Can different bryophyte canopy structures stimulate different communities and diversity of testate amoebae? Data from the cloud forest of Sierra de Bahoruco, Dominican Republic.

The diversity of soil testate amoebae is primarily influenced by water availability and chemistry, vegetation type, and to a lesser extent, to pH. These results may be biased since most studies were made in association to Sphagnum spp. patches, which are highly acidic and ombrothophic systems. However, in bryophytes, water availability and thus, testacean diversity, may be correlated to morphology as evidenced by the presence of evolved structures that enhance water accumulation or limit water loss. Therefore, to get a finer resolution of the underlying mechanism that regulates, in bryophytes, testacean diversity and distribution of functional groups, we studied the relationship between bryophyte canopy structure and testacean species diversity in a subtropical cloud forest in the Dominican Republic. Since rough canopies with an open, loose or porous branching architecture tend to have higher water loses due to higher turbulence and mass transfer than dense cushions or smooth canopies, we hypothesized that different bryophyte canopy structures in terms of roughness will have different levels of testacean diversity. After assessing the canopy structure of 19 replicated bryophyte species, we found 86 species of testaceans. Bazzania sp showed the highest testacean mean richness and Leucoloma schwaneackeanum the lowest, 34 ± 13.27 (SD)/2.0 mL, and 19.75 ± 18.25 (SD)/2.0 mL, respectively. The abundance had the same pattern, Bazzania with the highest mean 428 ± 188.68, and Leucoloma with the lowest 110 ±156.40. The distribution of testacean feeding groups was similar among the different bryophyte canopy structures with herbivores being the dominant feeding strategy followed by bacterivorous. Although there were significant differences in canopy roughness (Thuidium urceolatum maximum and Octoblepharum erectifolium minimum), there were no significant differences in testacean richness, abundance nor distribution of feeding groups. The data suggest that different bryophyte canopy structures do not represent stressful environments for testacean diversity and community assemblages.

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1 - University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, Biology Department, Mayagüez, , PR, 00680
2 - University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, Biology Department, Mayagüez, , PR, 00680
3 - University of P.R., Biology Department, Mayaguez Campus, Po Box 9012, Mayaguez, PR, 00681-9012, USA

bryophyte canopy structure
Species Richness.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for BSA Sections
Session: P2
Location: Event Tent/Cliff Lodge
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: P2BL014
Abstract ID:418