Distribution and abundance of vines along the light gradient in a southern temperate rain forest
Gianoli E; Saldana A; Jimenez-Castillo M; Valladares F
Journal of Vegetation Science
Question: Are vines light-demanding species? Location: Temperate evergreen rain forest of south- ern Chile (40139 0 S 72111 0 W). Methods: In 45 plots of 25 m2 distributed in treefall canopy gaps secondary forest stands and old- growth forest (15 plots per light environment) all climbing and non-supported vines were counted and identified to species level and canopy openness was quantiÔ¨Åed using hemispherical photographs. Vine abundance and diversity (species richness and Simp- son‚Äôs index) were compared in the three light environments and similarity between vine commu- nities was estimated using Jaccard‚Äôs similarity coefÔ¨Åcient. We also determined the relationship between light niche breadth and local dominance at the species level. Results: In total there were 2510 vine individuals of 14 species. Canopy openness was signiÔ¨Åcantly dif- ferent in the three light environments. Species richness diversity community composition and density of vines were similar in treefall gaps second- ary and old-growth forest. Of the seven more common vine species which accounted for 91% of all vines three had even distribution two were more abundant in the shaded understorey and two had higher density in well-lit sites. Local dominance of vine species and niche breadth were not signiÔ¨Åcantly associated. forest questions the widespread notion of vines as pioneer-like species which may be a consequence of the abundance of some lianas in disturbed sites of tropical forests. Functional arguments are needed to justify a general hypothesis on light requirements of vines which constitute a vast group of species.