Nov 20, 2011

Cypress-strangling fig?

Can you see the rotting trunk on the swamp floor (on the left)?


Caroline said...

Rob, you don't suppose the ficus in my living room will go after us, do you?:o)

see my blog post for today, we seem to be channeling today.

Dr. Tom said...


Nice series of strangler figs on cypress but you miss several interesting natural history. 1. In swamps stranglers only start as epphytes which are commensal (+ for fig 0 for cypress(; 2. Once roots get into the ground they get a huge boost in water and nutrients, especially in dry season when soil is not anerobic, and so growth rate accelerates. Now they are competitors (- for both species). Even at this stage they never strangle the cypress which compensates by grwiing around and even over some of the fig roots. 3.They kill the host only if the crown of dense large leaves completely shades out the host.

Cheers, Dr. Tom

Unknown said...

Thanks Dr. Tom. That clears up the matter. It's an interesting life cycle for sure.