Species richness and distribution of understorey bryophytes in different forest types in Colombian Amazonia

J.C. Benavides, A.J. Duque, J.F. Duivenvoorden, A.M. Cleef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The first bryophyte survey results from Colombian Amazonia are presented. Bryophyte species, differentiated into mosses and liverworts, and further into four life-form classes, were sampled in 0.1-ha plots. These plots were distributed over four landscape units in the middle Caquetá area: floodplains, swamps, terra firme forests and white-sand areas. The total numbers of bryophyte species in the units were 50, 45, 45 and 32, respectively. The plots in floodplains and swamps were richer in moss species than the terra firme and white-sand plots, suggesting that coexistence of many moss species is favoured by high humidity. Moss species with fan life-forms preferred floodplains. On the other hand, liverwort species richness was highest in white-sand plots, which suggests that light incidence controls liverwort species-richness, perhaps more than humidity. All plots from the floodplain of the Caquetá River differed remarkably in species composition (of both mosses and liverworts) from the other landscape units. This may be due to the unique properties of this varzea system where, during yearly flooding events, soil, dead logs and stems are covered with a fresh layer of nutrient-rich fine silt, enhancing the surface for colonization and improving the conditions for productive bryophyte growth compared with elsewhere in the middle Caquetá area
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-189
JournalJournal of Bryology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • altitudinal zonation
  • epiphytic bryophytes
  • rain-forests
  • diversity
  • lichens
  • patterns
  • gradient
  • ecology

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