The team composed by Daniela Mellado, Carolina Leon, Gabriel Ortega, Javier Godoy, Ricardo Moreno and Iván Díaz, published their work on the vertical profile of bryophytes in coigüe trees, made in Bosque Pehuén, in the scientific journal New Zealand Journal of Botany.
“Vertical patterns of epiphytic bryophyte diversity in a montane Nothofagus forest in the Chilean Andes” is the title of the paper that the team of researchers of Universidad Austral de Chile published in this scientific journal.
The study, carried out in Bosque Pehuén, is “the first scientific exploration of the epiphytic communities that occupy the complete vertical profile of high Nothofagus dombeyi in a mountain forest of Nothofagus in the Chilean Andes (39 ° 25’S).” The objectives of the research were: “To describe the richness of the epiphyte species living on large specimens of Nothofagus dombeyi; to evaluate the differences according to the height, azimuth and diameter of each carrier tree; and to explore the distribution of epiphyte species within the vertical profile of trees.”
The research is a product of the work of Daniela Mellado, Carolina Leon, Gabriel Ortega, Javier Godoy, Ricardo Moreno and Iván Díaz, members of the Laboratory of Biodiversity and Canopy Ecology, Institute of Conservation, Biodiversity and Territory of the Faculty of Forestry Sciences and Natural Resources of Universidad Austral de Chile. They work as researchers in Bosque Pehuén, and this is one of their areas of work which seeks to contribute to the knowledge of Temperate Rainforests in Chile.
For this they climbed great coigües located between the 940 and 1190 meters of altitude. Samples were taken in each tree span, from its base to the highest branches. The epiphyte community consisted mostly of non-vascular epiphytes, all of them bryophytes; some of them only grew on the tree-tops. This is the first time this kind of information on biodiversity in Chilean coigües has been obtained.
Epiphytes are plants that grow on other plants without being parasitic, only using them as supports. They may be vascular (with stem and leaves) or bryophytes, such as mosses and liverworts.