Gerhard Zotz

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Whether rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations will cause forests to grow faster and store more carbon is an open question. Using free air CO2 release in combination with a canopy crane, we found an immediate and sustained enhancement of carbon flux through 35-meter-tall temperate forest trees when exposed to elevated CO2. However, there was(More)
Information on the degree of host specificity is fundamental for an understanding of the ecology of structurally dependent plants such as vascular epiphytes. Starting with the seminal paper of A.F.W. Schimper on epiphyte ecology in the late 19th century over 200 publications have dealt with the issue of host specificity in vascular epiphytes. We review and(More)
Phytic acid is the major storage compound for phosphorus (P) in plants. While accounting for up to 90 % in many seeds, usually only <10 % of total P is found in phytic acid in green leaves. This study follows up on the findings of a recent review of the occurrence of phytic acid in green leaves which revealed that (i) the current knowledge of phytic acid in(More)
The processes that govern diverse tropical plant communities have rarely been studied in life forms other than trees. Structurally dependent vascular epiphytes, a major part of tropical biodiversity, grow in a three-dimensional matrix defined by their hosts, but trees differ in their architecture, bark structure/chemistry and leaf phenology. We hypothesized(More)
Local variation in the abundance and richness of vascular epiphytes is often attributed to environmental characteristics such as substrate and microclimate. Less is known, however, about the impacts of tree and branch turnover on epiphyte communities. To address this issue, we surveyed branches and epiphytes found on the forest floor in 96 transects in two(More)
The velamen radicum, a spongy, usually multiple epidermis of the roots, which at maturity consists of dead cells, is frequently described as an important adaptation of epiphytic orchids. Yet, quantitative evidence for the alleged functions, e.g., efficient water and nutrient uptake, nutrient retention, reduction of water loss, mechanical protection, or the(More)
This study addresses the question of how size-related changes in leaf morphology and physiology influence light absorption and carbon gain of the epiphytic bromeliad Vriesea sanguinolenta. A geometrically based computer model, Y-plant, was used for the three-dimensional reconstruction of entire plants and for calculation of whole plant light interception(More)
It is debated whether slowing human population growth and intense urbanization may result in a slowdown of deforestation and an acceleration of natural forest regeneration. In a fragmented landscape the structure and composition of developing secondary forests will strongly depend on the local species pool. Thus, the understanding how organisms cope with(More)
On a global scale, temperature is the main determinant of arctic and alpine treeline position. However on a local scale, treeline form and position vary considerably due to other climatic factors, tree species ecology and life-stage-dependent responses. For treelines to advance poleward or uphill, the first steps are germination and seedling establishment.(More)
Nematodes are a very diverse and extremely abundant group of animals, but their occurrence in the tropics is surprisingly little understood. We investigated the meiofauna of epiphytic tank bromeliads in the lowlands of Panama with particular emphasis on nematodes. We encountered 89 morphospecies of nematodes in 54 bromeliad tanks, which were sampled in the(More)