LENCINAS Maria Vanessa
Mistletoe and epiphytic lichens contribute to litter input in Nothofagus antarctica forests
SOLER, R; MARTÍNEZ PASTUR, G; LENCINAS, MV; PERI, P
ACTA OECOLOGICA-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY
Lugar: Paris; Año: 2015 vol. 68 p. 11 - 17
Litter input is oneof the key components that define nutrient cycling in forests and the majorityof studies only considerthe tree components of litterfall. However, epiphytic species can play acrucial role in litter inputthroughout the growing season. This work evaluates changes in litter productionby mistletoe(Misodendrum sp.) and epiphytic lichen (Usnea sp.), related to crown cover inmature unmanaged, second-growth and managed (thinned for silvopastoral use)forests in Tierra del Fuego (Argentina). We usedplastic traps to collect litterfall biomass from trees, lichens and mistletoeson a monthly basis overthree consecutive years. Tree litter was considerable during autumn (March toMay), which is typical ofNothofagus deciduous species in the Southern hemisphere. In contrast, peaklitterfall from mistletoes andlichens occurred during spring and summer seasons. Tree litter (1954-3398 kg dry matter ha-1 year-1)was correlated with crown cover gradient being highest in second-growth forests and lowest in thinnedsites. While litter input from mistletoes did not vary among forest types (307-333 kg dry matter ha-1 year-1),lichen litter (11-40 kgdry matter ha-1 year-1) was higher in unmanaged and thinned matureforests despite differences in tree crown cover. Contrary to what we expected, the managementpractices investigated here did not affect the biomass of canopy communities compared to unmanagedmature forests. Mistletoes and lichens significantly increased the spatial(forest type) and temporalcomplexity (extended period of falling) of litterfall in Nothofagus antarcticaforests. This study provides astarting point to understand the ecological relevance of canopy communities inthe Patagonian forests ofsouthern Argentina.