Vascular epiphytes occur close to water bodies in the Ecological Station of Serra das Araras

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Vascular epiphytes, plants that evolve on other plant species, are considered bioindicators of environmental quality. Current study surveys epiphytes at the Serra das Araras ecological station, located in the savanna biome within the Amazon-Pantanal transition area, and evaluates the species’ potential as moisture bioindicators. Three transects were planned, parallel to the Camarinha stream and close to the Miranda stream, both within the Upper Paraguay Basin, with ten plots each, totaling 30 plots of 10 x 3 m. Variance analysis (Kuskall-Wallis) of abundance among transects, linear regression analysis with abundance and richness data were performed as a function of water body distance and Kernel density analysis. Six species of epiphytes were reported, with special reference to Phlebodium decumanum (Willd.) J.Sm. and Vanilla sp. Further, 19.6% of 143 phorophytes sampled were confirmed by epiphytes, of which 27 were Attalea speciosa Mart. ex Spreng. The transect close to the water bodies showed abundance with significant difference (p = 0.004) to transect 3. Fifteen of the 30 plots sampled had epiphytes and regression analysis showed a significant decrease for richness (p = 0.0003, R-adjusted = 0.372) and abundance (p = 0.042 R-adjusted = 0.139) as a function of the distance of the streams, following what has been reported in density analysis, with the highest concentration near the watercourses. Human intervention may have conditioned a low richness rate of epiphytes. The occurrence of these species is correlated with that of phorophyte Attalea speciosa established preferably in humid areas. Consequently, epiphytes may be bioindicators of the region´s environmental conditions.




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Revista em Agronegocio e Meio Ambiente, v. 16, n. 1, 2023.

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