Abstract

Phorophyte specificity and microenvironmental preferences of corticolous lichens in five phorophyte species from premontane forest of Finca Zíngara, Cali, Colombia). Lichenized fungi or lichens are organisms that have been little studied in the tropics and which distribution is affected by microenvironmental factors and substrate characteristics. The present study aimed to identify phorophyte specificity and microenvironmental preferences of corticolous lichens in five phorophyte species from premontane forest of the farm Finca Zingara in Cali, Colombia. For this, five individuals were selected from five tree species (phorophytes). Lichen species present in a 0.50x0.20m2 quadrant located in the trunk of each tree at a height of 1.3m were identified. Substrate parameters such as bark pH, Diameter Breast Height (DBH) and bark structure were measured. Also, microenvironmental factors including temperature, humidity and irradiance were determined. In order to detect phorophyte preferences, a non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMS) and indicator species analysis were made. Spearman correlation analysis was used to assert the relationship between environmental variables and groupings found in the NMS. A total of 69 species of lichens were found, of which 37 were identified to species, 18 to genera and 14 were not determined because they were sterile or had no spores. NMS showed that some individuals of the same tree species were grouped alongside the analysis dimensions, and they were related with the factors of light intensity, temperature and DBH. Only three lichens with preference for certain tree species were found (Arthonia microsperma by Meriania sp., Cladonia ceratophylla and sorediado 8 by Clusia sp.), suggesting absence of phorophyte preferences. Thus, it can be concluded that lichens from the study area do not show phorophyte preference, but their distribution is affected by light, temperature and DBH.
Keywords: corticolous lichens, phorophyte specificity, microenvironmental factors, non-metric multidimensional scaling (nms), correlation, indicator species analysis