Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) Support More Lianas Than Expected in Southwestern Ohio Floodplain Forests

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Lianas are structural parasites that depress growth, fertility and survival rates of their hosts, but the magnitude to which they alter these rates differs among host species. We tested the hypothesis that sycamore would have fewer creeping lianas because it possesses exfoliating bark and is therefore able to shed lianas from the trunk. We investigated the distribution of lianas on the trunks of trees > 6 cm DBH in floodplains throughout the Miami River Valley (southwestern Ohio). We recorded the identity and DBH of each tree species and counted the number of creeping lianas present on the trunk at 1.6 m in height in 10 x 300 m belt transects conducted along 3 river stretches. We generated expected frequencies lianas per tree based on the relative surface area available per tree species, and analyzed data using replicated goodness of fit tests. Our analysis includes 875 lianas (mostly Toxicodendron radicans) and 730 trees.


Presented at the 93rd Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, WI.

Presentation Number PS 68-167.

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