Liana diversity and reproductive attributes in two tropical forests in Mexico

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Biodiversity and Conservation


We describe liana diversity and variation in morphology of flowers and diaspores in two tropical forests in Mexico: a seasonally deciduous forest at Chamela, Jalisco and a lowland rain forest at Chajul, Chiapas. Flowers were classified as inconspicuous (le1 cm in length and white or pale green flowers) or conspicuous (> 1 cm and brightly colored flowers). Dispersal syndrome was classified as anemochory, barochory, and zoochory. We recorded a higher number of lianas species in Chajul (128 spp.) than in Chamela (71 spp.). In both sites, families with the highest number of species were Bignoniaceae, Leguminosae, Sapindaceae, and Malphigiaceae, and almost half of the liana species had inconspicuous flowers. Most of the species had an abiotic syndrome of dispersal with 40 (56.3%) and 71 (55.5%) wind-dispersed species in Chamela and Chajul, respectively. Zoochory was significantly associated with inconspicuous flowers and anemochory with conspicuous flowers. Our results suggest that (1) flower morphology and dispersal type are not related with the amount of rainfall and (2) lianas are more prone to be wind-dispersed.