Forum Topic

  1. Epiphytes

  2. Hi there,

    I'm just wondering what everyone's opinions are on epiphytes in NZ & if any one has done any studies on them

  3. Hi Kirsty,

    it might help if you can be more specific in your request. There is a lot of information on epiphytes in NZ and we can direct you once we know what you are interested in

  4. Hey Kirsty
    There is some information on the Network site - under Flora>Vascular Plants>Flowering Plants>Epiphytes.
    This includes reference and link to WRB Oliver's study in 1930 on NZ epiphytes published in the British Journal of Botany.

  5. Thanks John, I've previously read Oliver's work - its quite surprising nothing more recent has been done especially since some epiphytic orchids are threatened or rare.

    At the moment, i'm fishing around for a topic to do my Msc on with the general idea of it being related to NZ epiphytes. I was interested to see what everyone on here thought about epiphytes - out of my own interest & do get an idea for a MSc topic :)

    At the moment I've got some ideas - let me know what you think.
    -comparing epiphytic diversity between Tasmania and NZ (in similar temperate rainforests). I'd probably just focus on vascular epiphytes (although is this appropriate?)
    -Epiphytes in urban areas in NZ - I know quite a bit has been done on lichens as climate change/pollutant indicators. I'm not sure if any studies have been done in NZ on this though.
    -Comparing diversity between different forest types. Primary , secondary, fragments ?

    Your thoughts?

  6. I suspect that Lucy Cranwell did her MSc on epiphytes.


  7. Why not do a thesis on epiphyllous liverworts and mosses? These epiphytes are poorly studies (except from a taxonomic view point) and they are a feature of such larger vascular plant genera as the filmy ferns (Hymenophyllaceae), Blechnum ferns and even the frond of nikau and leaves of kiekie. Many of the liverworts are believed to be threatened. We have very few people actively researching the ecology of bryophytes - its topical and somewhat "trendy" work overseas with some chance of funding. Worth considering for an M.Sc. stepping into a PhD?



  8. Thanks Peter. Do you mean researching the distribution of liverworts or mosses? I don't want to get into the whole genetic side of things at a Msc level.

  9. Hi Kirsty, there is a student at Otago who might be studying urban epiphytes as part of a study on biodiversity of tree isolates

  10. Kia ora Kirsty
    I think there is a student doing some work comparing understorey (incl epiphytes) in urban restoration sites and bush fragments at Waikato. Maybe check out the postgrads under Bruce Clarkson?

  11. Hi Kirsty,

    Yes I meant looking at the ECOLOGY of bryophytes (up to you decide whether you wished to look at mosses or liverworts - but there tend to be more epiphyllous liverworts than mosses so more interesting I feel to work on). I didn't say anything about genetics - so not sure where that came from. Looking at spatial extent, distribution and competition between genera and species could be very rewarding in these little, poorly studied plants.


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