Vertical Distribution of Bromeliads in a Montane Forest in the Eastern Cordillera of the Colombian Andes


vertical distribution

How to Cite

Isaza, C., Betancur, J., & Estévez-Varón, J. V. (2004). Vertical Distribution of Bromeliads in a Montane Forest in the Eastern Cordillera of the Colombian Andes. Selbyana, 25(1), 126–137. Retrieved from


During a study of the vertical distribution of bromeliads and their biomass in a montane forest near Bogotá, Colombia, the authors found, at a 0.1 ha site, 4395 bromeliads with a biomass of 0.9 tons. Species making up the community were Guzmania gloriosa, Racinaea tetrantha, Tillandsia biflora, T. complanata, T. fendleri, and T. turnen. Differences in the morphometric variables used to determine age classes (i.e., dry weight, coverage, height, leaf length, and tank basal perimeter) were significant in all species except for number of leaves. Of the total, 62.3% of the bromeliad individuals belonged to immature age class 1, followed by adults (classes 3 and 4) with 24.3%. Adult biomass accounted for 74.6% of the total. The bromeliad community, populations, and age classes had an aggregated vertical distribution pattern in terms of biomass and number of individuals, mainly in the middle and high strata of the forest. Tillandsia turnen had the highest accumulated biomass (47%) and was the most abundant species (62.3%). Mean biomass per individual was highest in T. fendleri (87.4 g). Bromeliad individuals show a tendency to be near the main phorophyte axis. A strong correlation was found between abundance and biomass of bromeliads and the phorophyte height, crown coverage, and circumference breast height. Estudiamos el patrón de distribución vertical de los individuos y de la biomasa de la comunidad de bromelias en un bosque alto andino de la Sabana de Bogotá, Colombia. En 0.1 ha muestreada se encontraron 4395 individuos de bromelias, con una biomasa de ca. 0.9 toneladas, pertenecientes a los géneros Guzmania (G. gloriosa), Racinaea (R. tetrantha) y Tillandsia (T. biflora, T. complanata, T. fendleri y T. turne ri). Las diferencias en las variables morfométricas evaluadas (peso seco, cobertura, altura, largo de la lámina y perímetro de la base) para determinar las clases de edad fueron significativas en todas las especies, excepto el número de hojas. El 62.3 % de los individuos de la comunidad pertenecen a la clase de edad 1, seguidos por los adultos (clases 3 y 4) con el 24.3 %. El 74.6 % de la biomasa de la comunidad la acumularon los individuos adultos. La comunidad, las poblaciones y las clases de edad estimadas presentaron un patrón de distribución vertical agregado, tanto para la biomasa como para la abundancia, y con preferencia por las partes medias a altas del bosque. Tillandsia turneri fue la especie más abundante (con el 62.3 % de los individuos totales) y con mayor biomasa acumulada (47 % del total). El mayor promedio de biomasa por individuo lo presentó T. fendleri con 87.4 g. Los individuos tendieron a ubicarse cerca al eje principal del forofito y, además, se encontró una fuerte correlación entre la abundancia y la biomasa de las bromelias con la altura, la cobertura y la circunferencia a la altura del pecho de los forofitos.


Open Access and Copyright Notice


Selbyana is committed to real and immediate open access for academic work. All of Selbyana's articles and reviews are free to access immediately upon publication. There are no author charges (APCs) prior to publication, and no charges for readers to download articles and reviews for their own scholarly use.  To facilitate this, Selbyana depends on the financial backing of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, the hard work and dedication of its editorial team and advisory board, and the continuing support of its network of peer reviewers and partner institutions.

Authors are free to choose which open license they would like to use for their work. Our default license is the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0). While Selbyana’s articles can be copied by anyone for noncommercial purposes if proper credit is given, all materials are published under an open-access license with authors retaining full and permanent ownership of their work. The author grants Selbyana a perpetual, non-exclusive right to publish the work and to include it in other aggregations and indexes to achieve broader impact and visibility.

Authors are responsible for and required to ascertain that they are in possession of image rights for any and all photographs, illustrations, and figures included in their work or to obtain publication or reproduction rights from the rights holders. Contents of the journal will be registered with the Directory of Open Access Journals and similar repositories. Authors are encouraged to store their work elsewhere, for instance in institutional repositories or personal websites, including commercial sites such as, to increase circulation (see The Effects of Open Access).