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Abstract Detail


Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS

Ah-Peng, Claudine [1], Chuah-Petiot, Min [2], Bardat, Jacques [3], Strasberg, Domnique [1].

Bryophytes diversity and distribution on a lowland lava flow in Réunion Island (Mascarenes archipelago, Indian Ocean).

LA Réunion is a tropical oceanic island, formed about 2.1 millions years ago. The island has one of the most active volcanoes (Piton de la Fournaise, 2631 m) in the world. This French overseas department is located in the Middle Western Indian Ocean and the island is considered a global biodiversity hotspot. Presently, 645 bryophytes are reported for the island of 2512 sq. km; they represent a diverse group and are still very much understudied for lack of literature and experts. A field study was carried out in November 2005 on a recent lava flow (1986), which is covered by 95 % of the lichen Stereocaulon vulcani (Bory) Ach. and 5 % of pteridophytes and phanerogams. This first ecological study on bryophytes for the island aims at documenting bryophyte distribution patterns, spatial variability and turn over in species composition along an altitudinal gradient. Fine-scale variations in bryophyte communities on 3 ecological microhabitats, namely, on soil and on 2 indigenous ferns: Nephrolepis abruta (Bory) Mett. and Blechnum tabulare (Thunb.) were investigated along an altitudinal transect. Data were collected at intervals of 200 m, in a lowland area (250 – 850 m). This floristic investigation produced 70 species, including 10 new records for the island. In this presentation I will discuss: - The effect of altitude on the diversity of bryophytes at a fine scale and the effect of microhabitats on the distribution of species - Life strategies and responses developed by bryophytes to resist hostile open environments and to colonize the substratum. To conclude, thorough investigations are being conducted to demonstrate the successional progression of bryophytes communities into different microhabitats from a young lava flow to a mature lowland rain forest represented (in our geographical area) by a remnant lowland forest located in the south.


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1 - University of La Réunion,, Sciences faculty, 15 avenue René Cassin, BP 7151, Saint-Denis, Ile de la Réunion, F-97715, France
2 - University of Nairobi, School of Biological Sciences, P.O. Box 30197, Nairobi, 00100, Kenya,
3 - Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Systematics, 57, rue Cuvier, Paris, 75005, France

Keywords:
bryophytes
La Réunion Island
lava flows
altitudinal gradient
colonization
life strategies.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 21-9
Location: 304/Bell Memorial Union
Date: Monday, July 31st, 2006
Time: 4:00 PM
Abstract ID:230


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