Layering of epiphytes on trees is among the most charismatic features of southeastern US landscapes. Research in our lab has focused on understanding how the fine-scale architecture and environmental stress amelioration provided by epiphytes, namely Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides), interacts with the large-scale architecture provided by their host trees to moderate the composition and biomass of arthropod communities.
See selected publications:
Angelini, C., Silliman, B. R. 2014. Secondary foundation species as drivers of biodiversity and trophic structure: evidence from a tree-epiphyte system. Ecology 95(1): 185-196.
Angelini C, Briggs KL. Spillover of secondary foundation species regulates community structure and accelerates decomposition in oak savannas. Ecosystems 18: 780-791.