Can Hemiepiphytes be Useful in the Revegetation of Barren Sites?

Victor C. Quesnel, Frankie Farrell, Luisa Zuniaga


Hemiepiphytes, when they grow as epiphytes, must start life with minimal nutrition, and presumably, their physiology has evolved to cope with this situation. They should therefore be good candidates for revegetating barren areas. We tested this hypothesis with Clusia minor, Ficus amazonica and Ficus trigonata. Seedlings of each were grown in plastic bags and later planted out on two sites in the sand pit at the Arena Forest where their behaviour and survival were followed from 1993 to 2000. Of the three species, Clusia minor was much more promising than either of the other two. The reasons seem to lie in the evergreen habit of Clusia and its freedom from attack by leaf-cutting ants.

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