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Primary Succession of Lianas in an Amazonian Floodplain Forest

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Primary Succession of Lianas in an Amazonian Floodplain Forest
McManus, Erin Michael
Lianas (woody vines) are a major component of Neotropical forests. This investigation examined liana composition in a primary successional forest formed from bank erosion and main channel migration of the Manu River. Previous investigation of this system has shown that local tree species undergo a distinct pattern of succession (chronosequence) on each bend in the river. Four 100 x 4 m transects were established along the chronosequence in 4 distinct seral stages on 5 river bends. It was hypothesized that liana composition in the four seral stages would change over time and reflect that of the local trees. Composition of lianas in seral stages was determined by abundance, species richness and diversity. Mean abundance and species richness increased throughout consecutively aged seral stages but these trends were highly variable on different beaches. Also, abundance and species richness in the 4 seral stages were much lower than abundance and species richness recorded in other studies of older seral stages within the same successional floodplain. No significant correlation was found between abundance and distinct environmental factors, including elevation in relation to the river and light levels. Additionally, to determine if mode of climbing influenced composition in seral stages, climbing guild was recorded for each of the species found in this study. Stem twiners and tendrilate lianas were the most abundant climbers but these two modes of climbing were highly variable within beaches and across similar transects. Diversity (as measured by Fishers Alpha) was low throughout the chronosequence and did not show a pattern of increase similar to the trees. Non-metric scale ordination of species presence/absence and quantitative data was conducted to determine similarity of community composition within beaches and across seral stages. Species presence/ absence was grouped by seral stage, indicating that environmental components determine composition. Species quantitative data was also grouped by seral stage but revealed a loose grouping by beach implying that in addition to environmental components, species dominance is influenced by effects of independent beaches, such as source strength of dispersal. I conclude that lianas do not exhibit a pattern of primary succession similar to that of the trees. High variability in abundance and diversity on independent beaches suggest that lianas are opportunistic structural parasites that show little preference of habitat in early seral stages. Furthermore, low diversity in early seral stages contrasted high diversity of older seral stages (> 250 years in age), implying that differences in internal dynamics of these forests change local liana habitat, ultimately changing liana composition.
primary succession
tropical ecology
mcmae01g@wfu.edu (authorEmail)
Dr. Miles Silman (committee chair)
Dr. Kathleen Kron (committee member)
Dr. Peter Weigl (committee member)
McManus, Erin Michael
2008-09-28T10:50:45Z (accessioned)
2010-06-18T18:58:48Z (accessioned)
2004-12-21 (available)
2008-09-28T10:50:45Z (available)
2010-06-18T18:58:48Z (available)
2003-05-11 (issued)
null (defenseDate)
Biology (discipline)
Wake Forest University (grantor)
MS (level)
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/14797 (uri)
etd-11292003-151813 (oldETDId)
Release the entire work for access only to the Wake Forest University system for one year from the date of approval. After one year, release the entire work for access worldwide, unless I send notification to delay release. (accessRights)
I hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to Wake Forest University or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report. (license)

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