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Título: A classification of the major habitats of Amazonian black-water river floodplains and a comparison with their white-water counterparts
Autor(es): Wolfgang J. Junk
Florian Wittmann
Jochen Schongart
Maria Teresa Fernandez Piedade
ISSN: 0923-4861
Revista: Wetlands Ecology and Management
Volume: 1
Resumo: The Amazon River and its large tributaries are bordered by floodplains covering tens of thousands of square kilometers. Studies on the structure, function, and species composition have allowed a classification of the macrohabitats of Amazonian white-water floodplains, rich in suspended matter and nutrients and of neutral pH (varzea). Here we describe the use of a similar approach to classify the macrohabitats of the black-water floodplains, rich in humic substances, poor in nutrients and acidic (igap) of the Negro River and its black-water tributaries. With 12 subclasses and 25 macrohabitats, the igap is less complex than the varzea. Although white-water and black-water rivers are subjected to similar flood regimes, the low sediment load and shallower declivity of the Negro River lead to reduced sedimentation and erosion processes. Differences in nutrient levels between both ecosystems influence species composition, richness, and growth rates of higher plant communities. Species richness is lower in igap than in varzea, and wood increment and litter production of igap trees is about half that reported for varzea trees. In addition, igap lacks highly productive herbaceous plant communities that are common in varzea. The classification of igap macrohabitats provides a valuable tool for the elaboration of sustainable management strategies and conservation. While many varzea macrohabitats are suitable for small-scale agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry and commercial fisheries, the carrying capacity of igap is limited and allows only for subsistence-level fishery and agriculture, the capture of ornamental fishes, and ecotourism. We argue that the biota of most igap macrohabitats is highly sensitive to changes in hydrological cycles as caused by river damming and/or by climate change.
ISSN: 0923-4861
Aparece nas coleções:Coordenação de Dinâmica Ambiental (CDAM)

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