Arthropods and other biota associated with the Azorean trees and shrubs: Juniperus brevifolia

Nunes, R., Gabriel, R., Elias, R.B., Rigal, F., Soares, A.O., Cardoso, P. & Borges, P.A.V. (2015) Arthropods and other biota associated with the Azorean trees and shrubs: Juniperus brevifolia. Arquipelago. Life and Marine Sciences, 32, 19-48.

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  • Dec, 2015


This work aims to characterize the arthropods and other biota (lichens, bryophytes, vascular plants and birds) associated with the Azorean endemic tree, Juniperus brevifolia. This is the first of a series of publications that will (i) provide a comprehensive list of all the biota associated with the main Azorean endemic trees and shrubs, (ii) describe in detail the diver-sity, abundance and spatial patterns of canopy arthropods, and (iii) whenever possible, to extend biodiversity assessments to communities of bryophytes, lichens, vascular plants and vertebrates. We use standardized sampled data from BALA project for canopy arthropods and for the remaining taxa we surveyed literature data and the Herbarium of University of Azores. Juniperus brevifolia occurs in a wide range of elevation belts in Azores and accommodates a remarkable large number of taxa: besides canopy arthropods (161 species) it is also an important substrate to other vascular species (six species), bryophytes (105 species), lichens (106 species) and also birds (four species). In addition, the species richness and particularly the abundance of endemics are dominant, and the number of conservation concern species for bryophytes is noteworthy (30 out of 70). The complexity of the tree and the high diversity of micro-habitats created the conditions for epiphytic species to easily colonize all parts of the tree, from the bottom, trunk and branches. The communities associ-ated with the Azorean cedar are consequently of a high conservation value and should be further investigated in their ecological dynamics.