Biodiversity and Conservation

, 18:317 | Cite as

Effect of fragmentation on the community structure of epixylic bryophytes in Atlantic Forest remnants in the Northeast of Brazil

  • Mércia Patrícia Pereira Silva
  • Kátia Cavalcanti Pôrto
Original Paper

Abstract

The effects of fragmentation and edge effects on the floristic composition, richness, diversity and abundance of epixylic bryophytes (growing on decaying wood) were investigated in ten fragments of Atlantic Forest remnants in the Northeast of Brazil. In each fragment, four perpendicular 100 m transects were demarcated. Along these transects, samples of bryophytes growing on decaying wood were collected. The forest fragments were grouped in three size classes (small: <100 ha; medium: 100–500 ha; large: >500 ha). Correlation and multivariate analysis were undertaken between bryophyte flora and fragment metrics (size, form, isolation, altitude variation, nuclear area and secondary vegetation percentage and distance from the edge). A total of 99 species of bryophytes, 52 liverworts and 47 mosses were registered. The statistical results confirming fragment size is an important factor in epixylic community structure. Therefore, composition, richness, diversity and abundance can be better explained by a junction of all studied landscape factors. Bryophyte richness, the percentage of samples with the greatest coverage of decaying wood and shade-tolerant species’ distribution, were not correlated to distance from the forest edge. This suggests that edge effects are not linear or can be detected beyond 100 m from the edge, which is very important for inclusion in future studies.

Keywords

Bryophytes Edge effects Tropical forest Forest fragmentation Decaying wood 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mércia Patrícia Pereira Silva
    • 1
  • Kátia Cavalcanti Pôrto
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de BotânicaUniversidade Federal de PernambucoRecifeBrazil

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