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    We developed and evaluated a model of the canopy of a tropical montane forest at Monteverde, Costa Rica, to estimate inorganic nitrogen (N) retention by epiphytes from atmospheric deposition. We first estimated net retention of inorganic N by samples of epiphytic bryophytes, epiphyte assemblages, vascular epiphyte foliage, and host tree foliage that we exposed to cloud water and precipitation solutions. Results were then scaled up to the ecosystem level using a multilayered model of the canopy derived from measurements of forest structure and epiphyte mass. The model was driven with hourly meteorological and event-based atmospheric deposition data, and model predictions were evaluated against measurements of throughfall collected at the site. Model predictions were similar to field measurements for both event-based and annual hydrologic and inorganicNfluxes in throughfall. Simulation of individual events indicated that epiphytic bryophytes and epiphyte assemblages retained 33-67 percent of the inorganic N deposited in cloud water and precipitation.

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    Clark, Kenneth L.; Nadkarni, Nalini M.; Gholz, Henry L. 2005. Retention of inorganic nitrogen by epiphytic bryophytes in a tropical montane forest. BIOTROPICA. 37(3): 328-336.


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    atmospheric deposition, Costa Rica, epiphytic bryophytes, nitrogen cycle, tropical montane forest

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