Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

La riqueza del microorganismo de especies y la diversidad en briófitos del bosque enano


Andrew Miller



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Publication Date

December 2006


The elfin cloud forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica is an area with a species rich bryophyte community that harbors an unexplored community of microscopic organisms. I examined two morphospecies of bryophytes to compare their species richness of microorganisms living in the water the bryophyte holds. The factors that I examined that may affect microorganism’s species richness are pH and structural differences between the bryophyte morphospecies. Bryophyte water samples were collected, pH was measured, and protozoan species were counted and viewed under a compound microscope. Even though there were visible differences in structural complexity between moss morphospecies (longer shoot lengths and thicker patches) there were non-significant differences between the average species richness per sample (Mann-Whitney U test, U = 78.5; P = 0.16). I found a significantly higher diversity of microorganisms in one moss morphospecies (T-test, t-value = 3.62, P < 0.05). The moss morphospecies with shorter shoot lengths had one unique microorganism and higher average (but not significant) species richness per mL of water than the second morphospecies (T-test, t-value = -1.5; P = 0.14). This is due to one moss morphospecies holding much more soil and detritus in its samples and therefore microorganisms living in the attached soil were also counted.


El bosque nuboso enano en Monteverde, Costa Rica es un área con una comunidad de briofitas rica en especies, la cual es una comunidad inexplorada de organismos microscópicos. Examiné dos morfoespecies de briofitos. Los factores que examiné que pueden afectar la riqueza de especies de microorganismo es el PH y algunas diferencias estructurales entre las morfoespecies de briofitos.


Bryophytes, Aquatic ecology, CIEE Fall 2006

Palabras claves

Briofitas, Ecología acuática, CIEE Otoño 2006


14 pages

Geographic Location

Monteverde (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute


English; Spanish

Media Type



Digital Only





Microorganism species richness and diversity in elfin forest bryophytes, December 2006



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