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The Diversity and Distribution of Trees and Vascular Epiphytes in Forests in Western Uganda

Tropical rainforests (TRFs) are generally characterised by high species diversity and endemism compared with most other ecosystems. In Africa, TRFs are concentrated along the equatorial belt, a region corresponding with high precipitation. Over 50% of the world’s biodiversity is believed to live in the tropics, and while the destruction of flora is a worldwide problem, it is most prevalent in the tropics. Vascular epiphytes are a group of vascular plants that are relatively understudied in Uganda. About 24,000 of all vascular plant species are epiphytic and they constitute about 50% of the vascular plants in very wet tropical forests, making their research and conservation vital.