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Title: Disturbances, elevation, topography and spatial proximity drive vegetation patterns along an altitudinal gradient of a top biodiversity hotspot
Authors: Eisenlohr, Pedro Vasconcellos
Alves, Luciana Ferreira
Bernacci, Luís Carlos
Padgurschi, Maíra de Campos Gorgulho
Torres, Roseli Buzanelli
Prata, Eduardo Magalhães Borges
Santos, Flavio A.Maës
Assis, Marco Antonio
Ramos, Eliana
Rochelle, Andr? Lu?s Casarin
Martins, Fernando Roberto
Campos, Mariana C.R.
Pedroni, Fernando
Sanchez, Maryland
Pereira, Larissa de Souza
Vieira, Simone Aparecida
Gomes, José Ataliba Mantelli Aboin
Tamashiro, Jorge Yoshio
Scaranello, Marcos Augusto S.
Caron, Cora J.
Joly, Carlos Alfredo
Keywords: Altitudinal Zonation
Coastal Plain
Conservation Management
Logging (timber)
Multivariate Analysis
Spatial Analysis
Species Richness
Topographic Effect
Tropical Forest
Atlantic Forest
Issue Date: 2013
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Biodiversity and Conservation
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 22, Número 12, Pags. 2767-2783
Abstract: The correlation between vegetation patterns (species distribution and richness) and altitudinal variation has been widely reported for tropical forests, thereby providing theoretical basis for biodiversity conservation. However, this relationship may have been oversimplified, as many other factors may influence vegetation patterns, such as disturbances, topography and geographic distance. Considering these other factors, our primary question was: is there a vegetation pattern associated with substantial altitudinal variation (10-1,093 m a.s.l.) in the Atlantic Rainforest-a top hotspot for biodiversity conservation-and, if so, what are the main factors driving this pattern? We addressed this question by sampling 11 1-ha plots, applying multivariate methods, correlations and variance partitioning. The Restinga (forest on sandbanks along the coastal plains of Brazil) and a lowland area that was selectively logged 40 years ago were floristically isolated from the other plots. The maximum species richness (>200 spp. per hectare) occurred at approximately 350 m a.s.l. (submontane forest). Gaps, multiple stemmed trees, average elevation and the standard deviation of the slope significantly affected the vegetation pattern. Spatial proximity also influenced the vegetation pattern as a structuring environmental variable or via dispersal constraints. Our results clarify, for the first time, the key variables that drive species distribution and richness across a large altitudinal range within the Atlantic Rainforest. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1007/s10531-013-0553-x
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