Floristic composition in ecotone forests in northern Brazilian Amazonia: preliminary data

Foto por R. O. Perdiz


Ecotone has been defined as “a multi-dimensional environmentally stochastic interaction zone between ecological systems with characteristics defined in space and time, and by the strength of the interaction” (Hufkens et al. 2009). This is a known concept to define transitional zones between two or more ecological communities, ecosystems or biotic regions. Ecotone forests, dispersed in northern Brazilian Amazonia, are natural formations which have been largely affected by anthropogenic impacts, such as deforestation and fire. Maracá Ecological Station, State of Roraima, Brazil, is a protected area with extensive representations of ecotone forests in this region of the Amazonia. Forest inventories and floristic surveys are important as they extend our knowledge (1) of forest structure and tree species composition and (2) of tree and palm species ecology in this region of the Amazonia. Both improve our ability to predict changes in plant diversity, considering the future scenarios of climate change in comparison with previous surveys performed in Maracá. We present a forest inventory carried out in 129 plots (10 m x 50 m; 6.45 ha in total) dispersed in a grid (5 km x 5 km) located in a forest zone ecotone in the eastern part of Maracá Ecological Station. All stems (tree + palm) with diameter at breast height ≥ 10 cm were recorded, identified and measured. A total of 3040 stems were recorded (tree = 2815; palm = 225), corresponding to 42 botanic families and 140 identified species. Seven families and 20 genera contained unidentified taxa (12.2%). Sapotaceae (735 stems; 10 species), Leguminosae (409; 24) and Rubiaceae (289; 12) were the most abundant families. Peltogyne gracilipes Ducke (Leguminosae), Pradosia surinamensis (Eyma) T.D.Penn. (Sapotaceae) and Ecclinusa guianensis Eyma (Sapotaceae) were the species with the highest importance value index (~ 25%). The dominance (m2 ha-1) of these species corresponds to > 36% of the total value observed in the forest inventory. Our dataset provides complementary floristic and structure information on tree and palm in Maracá, improving our knowledge of this Amazonian ecotone forest.

Biodiversity Data Journal