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Strangler Figs: Epiphytes or Not So Much?

While on our trip, we encountered several interesting-looking vines that appeared to be epiphytes. These vines, which we found at various locations, are actually strangler figs. Strangler Figs, a Ficus plant, begin their lives as epiphytes on trees. Their seeds are dispersed and then germinate on the host. From there, their roots grow down, growing read more »

Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve–Northern Cloud Forest

Most common species: Orchids. In fact, according to a guide, Mark, in the park, 90% of the orchids in cloud forests are epiphytes. Also, of the 9,000 vascular plants, 3,000 of them are epiphytes. Overall, the cloud forest has a very diverse and abundant collection of epiphytes. Functions in this climate: As both Robert Welch read more »

Arenal National Park–Northern Mountains

Most common species: Orchids, bromileads, and ferns. The least amount of epiphytes are found in highlands. Functions in this climate: In this climate with less rain, epiphytes are particularly important. Their ability to direct water to the trunk of the host is crucial to the survival of the trees. For the epiphytes, the ability to read more »

Cahuita National Park–Eastern Coast Tropical Rainforests and Coral Reefs

Most common species: On land, the most common is orchids, while epiphytes grow on the coral reefs as well, mostly algae and bacteria. According to a paper from Revista de BiologĂ­a Tropical, a total of 26 species of microalgae were found on just one species of seagrass off the coast of Cahuita. Functions in this climate: read more »

Brauilo Carrillo National Park–Central Tropical Rainforests

Most common species: Orchids (114 species), aroids and ferns Functions in this climate: The humidity and precipitation in this climate, even in the dry season, allows for the epiphytes to easily collect water, both for themselves and the plants they are growing on. Specializations in this climate: The amount of orchids in this climate allow read more »

Epiphytes: An Overview

According to the Natural History of Ecological Restoration, epiphytes are plants that actually live on other plants, but they are not parasites. They grow on the trunk or branches of other plants, usually trees, but they do not take any water or nutrients from the tree. Instead, they use the tree to grow up, using read more »