HOST-PREFERENCE OF FOUR DOMINANT LIANA SPECIES WITH CONTRASTING CLIMBING STRATEGIES IN TROPICAL DRY EVERGREEN FOREST OF INDIA
VIVEK P; PARTHASARATHY N
Journal of Global Ecology and Environment
Lianas the woody climbers are incapable of autonomous vertical growth instead they are evolved with specialized climbing structures to access the host trees’ architecture and expose themselves to the light-rich environment. This unique network of physical connections between lianas and trees are often influenced by host species’ traits. The present study analyzes the preferential hosts for four dominant liana species which employ different climbing mechanisms from the data on liana-tree interaction studies conducted in four tropical dry evergreen forest sites on the Coromandel Coast of India. We checked whether lianas with different climbing mechanisms have differential host preferences based on the host tree traits. The abundance of four dominant lianas totaled 723 individuals hosted on 601 tree individuals. The host tree functional traits are examined in the field and also by referring pertinent field manuals. In contrast to our predictions the preferential hosts of the four dominant lianas with contrasting climbing strategies remained the same though their proportion varied significantly. This may be assigned to the intense competition among lianas in finding their supports.