A Novel Approach to Simulate Climate Change Impacts on Vascular Epiphytes: Case Study in Taiwan
In the wet tropics, epiphytes form a conspicuous layer in the forest canopy, support abundant coexisting biota, and are known to have a critical influence on forest hydrology and nutrient cycling. Since canopy-dwelling plants have no vascular connection to the ground or their host plants, they are likely more sensitive to environmental changes than their soil-rooted counterparts, subsequently regarded as one of the groups most vulnerable to global climate change. Epiphytes have adapted to life in highly dynamic forest canopies by producing many, mostly wind-dispersed, seeds or spores. Consequently, epiphytes should colonize trees rapidly, which, in addition to atmospheric sensitivity and short life cycles, make epiphytes suitable climate change indicators. In this study, we assess the impact of climate change on Taiwanese epiphytes using a modeling approach.
KeywordsDispersal limitation Global climate change Maximum entropy method (MaxEnt) Subtropical island Tree persistence
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