Plant structure predicts leaf litter capture in the tropical montane bromeliad Tillandsia turneri.

Brazilian journal of biology = Revista brasleira de biologia

PubMedID: 27143067

Ospina-Bautista F, Estévez Varón JV. Plant structure predicts leaf litter capture in the tropical montane bromeliad Tillandsia turneri. Braz J Biol. 2016;.
Leaves intercepted by bromeliads become an important energy and matter resource for invertebrate communities, bacteria, fungi, and the plant itself. The relationship between bromeliad structure, defined as its size and complexity, and accumulated leaf litter was studied in 55 bromeliads of Tillandsia turneri through multiple regression and the Akaike information criterion. Leaf litter accumulation in bromeliads was best explained by size and complexity variables such as plant cover, sheath length, and leaf number. In conclusion, plant structure determines the amount of litter that enters bromeliads, and changes in its structure could affect important processes within ecosystem functioning or species richness.