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Abstract Detail

Tropical Biology

Marsico, Travis [1], Berríos, Hazel [1], Coronado, Indiana [2].

Plant species richness and community composition along an elevation gradient on an isolated cloud forest volcano.

Due to changes in the physical environment, steep elevation gradients are known to host a high amount of plant species richness over small geographic areas. Volcán Maderas on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua, is a steep, isolated cloud forest volcano (1394m) with five distinct habitat zones based on temperature and moisture. Over this elevation change, the forest changes from Pacific Slope dry tropical forest to elfin or dwarf forest, as it transitions through humid forest, wet forest, and tropical montane cloud forest. We sampled weather data at five distinct elevations along this gradient (302m, 509m, 890m, 1060m, and 1325m), including temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, leaf wetness, and soil moisture during wet and dry seasons. Along the elevation gradient from low to high, temperature consistently decreases, and moisture measurements consistently increase, following predictions. Differences in the gradient are greater during the dry season than the wet season. Community composition changes from low to high elevation with a peak of orchid species richness in the wet forest habitat and a peak of fern species richness in the cloud forest habitat. Other patterns of species richness related to changes in weather factors that are associated with elevation will be discussed.

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1 - Arkansas State University, Department Of Biological Sciences, PO Box 599, State University, AR, 72467, USA
2 - Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua, León, Facultad de Ciencias, Departamento de Biología, Herbario UNAN-León (HULE), León, León, 21000, Nicaragua

Dry forest
cloud forest
montane forest
species richness.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 21, Tropical Biology
Location: Fort Worth Ballroom 1/Omni Hotel
Date: Tuesday, June 27th, 2017
Time: 9:30 AM
Number: 21005
Abstract ID:508
Candidate for Awards:None

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