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Liana avoidance strategies in trees: Combined attributes increase efficiency

Journal Article

Sfair J.C; Rochelle A.L.C; Andreia Rezende A; Martins F.R

2016

Tropical Ecology

57

559-566

We investigated the importance of specific tree attributes: height exfoliating bark smooth bark and fast growth to determine whether single or multiple attributes were more important in liana colonization on trees. Specifically we asked: Does the presence of multiple liana-shedding attributes in trees reduce the number of lianas on a tree? We sampled the number of lianas on each tree and recorded tree attributes in three ecologically distinct sites in southeast Brazil. Data were analyzed using model selection by Akaike Information Criterion in which the number of lianas on a tree was the response variable and tree attributes were explanatory variables. We found that a combination of two attributes in trees was sufficient to deter liana infestation whereas only one attribute had zero probability of deterring lianas across all sites. Taller trees bear more lianas probably because of their well-lit canopies but tree height was always associated with other attributes: slow growth in rain forest exfoliating bark in seasonal forest and rough bark in savanna woodland. We conclude that the presence of two attributes is sufficient to reduce liana infestation on a tree.

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Support

The Liana Ecology Project is supported by Marquette University and funded in part by the National Science Foundation.