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Composition and structure of the cloud forest on Mt. Delaco, Gau, Fiji

Keppel, Gunnar and Thomas, Nunia T. (2009) Composition and structure of the cloud forest on Mt. Delaco, Gau, Fiji. The South Pacific Journal of Natural Sciences, 27 (1). pp. 28-34. ISSN 1013-9877

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The composition and structure of cloud forest on Mt. Delaco (715m), Gau, Fiji Islands, is investigated using a transect following a ridge. Diameter (dbh), height, epiphyte cover and distance to the nearest neighbour were measured for each plant of 5 or more cm in dbh. A total of 42 vascular species were identified. The canopy was 3-5m tall, with Alpinia boia reaching 7m in height. The tree fern Dicksonia brackenridgei dominated the vegetation, accounting for 56% of the total basal area. Rapanea myricifolia, Hedycarya dorstenoides andAscarina diffusa were other common species. Epiphytes were abundant and epiphyte cover for most trees was more than 50%. The most common epiphytes were Nephrolepis tuberosa and Nephrolepis saligna,Collospermum montanum, Peperomia spp., mosses and filmy ferns (Hymenophyllaceae) were other common species. A species of Freycinetia was the dominant climber. There was a moderately strong correlation between epiphyte richness and dbh of the host species (r = 0.59). The limited literature on cloud forest in the tropical insular Pacific suggests that while many taxa are shared, the species composition may vary considerably on different mountains.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: S Agriculture > SD Forestry
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Depositing User: Ms Neha Harakh
Date Deposited: 24 May 2009 04:23
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2012 03:29

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