Bromeliad translocation in Atlantic Forest fragments, Brazil.
Habitat loss and fragmentation have negative impacts on the environment, reducing the habitat available to species. In order to minimize these effects we need strategies to enhance the value of refuge areas. Bromeliads are important microhabitats for many taxa during certain stages of their life cycles, and can potentially be readily transplanted. In this study we transplanted terrestrial bromeliads to test their capacity to survive the transplantation procedure over time, and assess whether they are able to maintain their arthropod communities. The experiment was performed between two Atlantic Forest fragments with bromeliads of the genus Hohenbergia. We transplanted 66 plants and monitored them over three years. We assessed plant survival and reproduction as measures of transplantation success, and made comparisons among arthropod communities to evaluate faunal maintenance post-transplantation. All the bromeliads survived the transplantation over the four-year study and conserved their arthropod community. Therefore we recommend this technique as a method for enhancing the value of fragmented habitats, because it both maintains the bromeliad fauna and aids conservation of endangered bromeliads species in the face of environmental change.