Mereia Tabua -  Institute of Applied Science

MSc: Mereia Tabua

Researcher: Mereia Tabua

Thesis TitleTrunk-inhabiting Bryophyte diversity on two common native trees along an altitudinal gradient on Viti Levu, Fiji. 

Principal Supervisor: Dr. Ralph Riley and Dr. Cara Miller

Status: Completed

Thesis Abstract:


This project encompasses an ecological study of bryophytes on the lower trunks of two types of forest trees, in three different forest types.   Bryophytes have been sampled from 0-2m along the trunks of tree ferns and Calophyllum trees in a lowland forest, an upland forest and a cloud forest. 
The aim of this study is to determine the different patterns of bryophyte diversity on the lower trunks of the tree fern and Calophyllum tree. Tree properties, specifically trunk diameter, bark texture, and bark water retention capacity, and how these may influence the growth of these trunk-inhabiting bryophytes is also investigated.

This study is the first of its kind in Fiji and will contribute comprehensive baseline data in species diversity, ecological and distributional information for this group of plants in an effort to fill information gaps relating to Pacific bryophyte flora and to develop and strengthen bryophyte research in Fiji.



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