The eastern Nicaraguan coasts bordered by mangrove forests are often negatively affected by catastrophic events. One of the most destructive was hurricane Joan in 1988, which damaged as much as 80% of the forests. Though neotropical mangrove woodlands are not famous for their high species richness, vascular epiphytes occurring in the mangrove canopies are characterized by high biodiversity. The research presented in this study was focused on vascular epiphytes found in a private Nicaraguan reservation Greenfields. The main aim of the work presented here was to compare two parts of same-age mangrove area surrounding a water channel that runs through the forest stands in the reservation. The biodiversity observed in the initial natural part of the water channel was compared with the biodiversity observed in the artificial part at the end of the channel. In total, there were identified 13 epiphyte species belonging to 5 families on both banks. The Shannon-Wiener index amounts to 1.63 and Simpson index equates to 0.7. In natural channel, there was Shannon-Wiener index of 1.77 and Simpson index 0.75 and for the artificial part it was 0.82 and 0.46. The most common vascular epiphyte species was Tillandsia bulbosa belonging to Bromeliaceae family; there were exactly recorded 141 occurrences of this specie which amounts to more than a half of all the individual epiphytes examined in the research.
Part of the book: Mangrove Ecosystem Ecology and Function