Dispersal of bryophytes is an intriguing issue, that can help understanding the geographical distribution of species and the assemblage of communities. However, dispersal over large areas, known as long distance dispersal, is hardly ever documented. Wind movement above the forest canopy is an important long distance vector for plants dispersing via spores, such as bryophytes.
In this project, biological particles transported by the wind above the Amazon forest will be collected from a 325 meter high tower. Taxonomic identification of airborne diaspores at species level will be based on DNA metabarcoding (Next Generation Sequencing), and coupled to an extensive DNA reference library being built for Amazonian species as well as to sequences available in public databases. Diversity and composition of airborne diaspores will be analysed in the light of a comprehensive species dataset for the region, including species relative abundances, species traits and habitat specialization.