Phorophytic characteristics of Eucalyptus globulus: comparing trees with and without epiphytes


Research Articles | Published:

Print ISSN : 0970-4078.
Online ISSN : 2229-4473.
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Doi: 10.1007/s42535-022-00403-5
First Page: 526
Last Page: 533
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Keywords: Bark, Epiphytes, Girth, Himalaya, Phorophyte


Trees with smooth bark such as Eucalyptus are considered poor phorophytes. We observed populations of Pyrrosia flocculosa on Eucalyptus globulus and therefore initiated the study to compare E. globulus trees that supported and lacked P. flocculosa. The study involved field surveys and collection of bark samples. A total of 200 trees were sampled and their girth along with inclination were noted. Bark samples [15 each from epiphyte present (EP) and epiphyte absent (EA) trees] were collected for physicochemical analyses. Kjeldahl, Flame photometer, spectrometer, and Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer were used for nutrient analyses. Statistical analyses for comparing characteristics of EP and EA trees have been done using STATISTICA. Of the total trees (n = 200), forty-eight percent were found to host P. flocculosa. The proportion of trees hosting ferns increased with girth. A significant difference in girth (ANOVA, F1,198 = 12.13, P = 0.001, n1= 96, n2 = 104) and Copper (ANOVA, F1,28 = 10.20, P = 0.003, N = 30) was observed between EP and EA trees. With girth, the physical characteristics of bark became favourable for hosting fern. The girth of trees was found to be a significant predictor of epiphyte presence in the study. The role of Copper with particular reference to epiphytic ferns deserves further study.

Bark, Epiphytes, Girth, Himalaya, Phorophyte

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AS: carried out field sampling, literature review, analyses, prepared draft; SKU: conceived the study, guided work, manuscript, garnered resources. We are thankful to the Director CSIR-IHBT Palampur for the facilities. The members of ET division are acknowledged for their valuable help. We acknowledge the help rendered by Dr. Probir Kumar Pal during statistical analyses and Dr. Y Pakade while performing chemical analyses. Mr. Mustaqeem Ahmad helped in the field while Ms. Ardhana Bharti helped in the formatting. We thank the Editor-in-Chief and the two reviewers whose comments helped in improving the manuscript. We thank the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India for financial assistance.

Author Information

Sharma Alpy
CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Palampur, India

Uniyal Sanjay Kr.
CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Palampur, India