Composition and Distribution of Vascular Epiphytes in Different Areas in Obafemi Awolowo, Nigeria
Keywords:Biomass; climatic factors; host plants; identification
Composition and distribution of vascular epiphytes were studied in three different areas at Obafemi Awolowo University estate, Nigeria. Each plot, in the selected area, was used for identification of host and epiphytes. Trees were carefully examined. Presence, positions on the host plants and life-forms of all the epiphytes were recorded. Diameter at breast height of the hosts, bark characteristics and height were determined. The climatic data of the areas were measured to determine the relationship between them and epiphytes distributions. Result showed 41 epiphytes belonging to 14 genera and 11 families were identified. Open area had the highest number of epiphytes (22) followed by forest patches (14) then secondary forest (five). The epiphytes were not host specific except epiphytic ferns and Ficus vogelii. Diameter at breast height has effect on the epiphytes distribution and composition. The distribution of epiphytes and environmental factors were lowest in the secondary forest. Moraceae was the most dominant host family (44.8%) while Nephrolepis undulata and Nephrolepis biserrata were the most common species of epiphytes. Most epiphytes preferred sub-canopy level, few occurred in the canopy level but none at emergent level. Climatic factors, diameter at breast height and bark characteristics of the host plants are useful in determining compositions and distributions of these epiphytes.
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