How the diversity, abundance, size and climbing mechanisms of woody lianas are related to biotic and abiotic factors in a subtropical secondary forest, Taiwan
Yang, S. Z., Fan, H., Li, K. W., & Ko, T. Y.
Lianas are woody vines that play an important role in forest dynamics in tropical and subtropical areas. Their relationship to various biotic and abiotic conditions is, however, not yet wholly clear. We explored how the size, climbing mechanisms, diversity and abundance of woody lianas is related to host plant size, environmental factors and topography. Liana assemblages were examined in twenty 20 × 20 m plots in each of three topographic sites (valley, slope and ridge) in a subtropical secondary forest in southeastern Taiwan. The valley site had the highest abundance and species richness of lianas. The abiotic factors, soil pH and rock cover, were related to different topographic sites. Larger lianas were always found on larger host trees, while smaller lianas were found in smaller trees; no lianas with a DBH greater than 10 cm were found. Significantly more adhesive lianas were found on larger trees whereas twining and leaning-hook lianas were found in smaller trees. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that the species of liana is associated with the size and type of tree growing under different topographic conditions.