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The Contribution of Lianas to Forest Ecology, Diversity, and Dynamics

  • Stefan A. SchnitzerEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Sustainable Development and Biodiversity book series (SDEB, volume 5)

Abstract

Lianas are a common component of forests worldwide and they contribute to forest ecology, diversity, and dynamics. Lianas can have both positive and negative effects in forests. Lianas can be an important resource for animals, as food (in the form of nectar, pollen, fruits, leaves, or sap), providing nesting sites, shelter and, by climbing among many tree crowns, lianas can provide aerial highways for many animal species. By contrast, lianas also compete intensively with trees, reducing tree recruitment, growth, reproduction, and survival, as well as tree diversity and forest-level carbon sequestration. While the inclusion of lianas in ecological studies have lagged behind that of trees, over the past three decades, the study of liana ecology has grown significantly, revealing many important contributions of lianas to forest ecology. In this chapter, I review the state of knowledge about the ecology of lianas and their contribution to forest ecology, diversity, and dynamics.

Keywords

Tropical Forest Forest Canopy Forest Carbon Tree Species Richness Tree Species Diversity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was made possible by financial support from US National Science Foundation grants DEB-0613666, NSF-DEB 0845071, and NSF-DEB 1019436. I thank N. Parthasarathy for inviting me to write this chapter and N. Parthasarathy and A Ercoli, for helpful comments on the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesMarquette UniversityMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.Smithsonian Tropical Research InstituteApartadoRepublic of Panama

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