Plant Ecology

, Volume 179, Issue 1, pp 107–118

Light microhabitats, growth and photosynthesis of an epiphytic bromeliad in a tropical dry forest

  • Sandra E. Cervantes
  • Eric A. Graham
  • José Luis Andrade
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11258-004-5802-3

Cite this article as:
Cervantes, S.E., Graham, E.A. & Andrade, J.L. Plant Ecol (2005) 179: 107. doi:10.1007/s11258-004-5802-3

Abstract

In the tropical dry forest of Dzibilchaltún, Yucatan, Mexico, light microhabitats, tissue acidity changes, chlorophyll fluorescence and growth were investigated for the epiphytic bromeliad Tillandsia brachycaulos Schltdl. Most individuals occurred in sites between 20 and 60% of the height of the tree, and directly on the main trunk or branches closed to the main trunk. During the dry season, individuals received about nine times more photon flux density (PFD) than during the rainy season. Individuals that occurred under 30–59% of the daily ambient PFD showed greater leaf length increase and monthly leaf production, and produced more flowers than individuals in the brighter (>60% of ambient PFD) and the darker (11–29% of ambient PFD) light microhabitats. Well-watered plants acclimated to deep shade (6% of ambient PFD) showed values of tissue acidity similar to plants under higher light treatments. Well-watered plants under 60% of daily ambient PFD showed low values of maximum quantum efficiency at midday during most of the year but showed similar values of tissue acidity than plants under 6 and 30% of ambient PFD. Leaf temperatures of plants in low sites within the canopy and on the forest floor were significantly higher than the air during about 1 h, indicating that those plants could not dissipate the excess of heat. Individuals located in the most shaded microhabitats could also receive less amount of water from rainfall and dew. Therefore, it would be less damaging for this epiphytic bromeliad to occur in the most exposed microhabitats than in the most shaded microhabitats in this tropical dry forest.

Keywords

Heat conduction ratePhotoinhibitionTillandsia brachycaulosTropical dry forestVertical distributionYucatan

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra E. Cervantes
    • 1
  • Eric A. Graham
    • 1
  • José Luis Andrade
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán, A. CUnidad de Recursos NaturalesCordemexMéxico