80 research outputs found

    Forgotten forests - issues and prospects in biome mapping using Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests as a case study

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>South America is one of the most species diverse continents in the world. Within South America diversity is not distributed evenly at both local and continental scales and this has led to the recognition of various areas with unique species assemblages. Several schemes currently exist which divide the continental-level diversity into large species assemblages referred to as biomes. Here we review five currently available biome maps for South America, including the WWF Ecoregions, the Americas basemap, the Land Cover Map of South America, Morrone's Biogeographic regions of Latin America, and the Ecological Systems Map. The comparison is performed through a case study on the Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest (SDTF) biome using herbarium data of habitat specialist species.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Current biome maps of South America perform poorly in depicting SDTF distribution. The poor performance of the maps can be attributed to two main factors: (1) poor spatial resolution, and (2) poor biome delimitation. Poor spatial resolution strongly limits the use of some of the maps in GIS applications, especially for areas with heterogeneous landscape such as the Andes. Whilst the Land Cover Map did not suffer from poor spatial resolution, it showed poor delimitation of biomes. The results highlight that delimiting structurally heterogeneous vegetation is difficult based on remote sensed data alone. A new refined working map of South American SDTF biome is proposed, derived using the Biome Distribution Modelling (BDM) approach where georeferenced herbarium data is used in conjunction with bioclimatic data.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Georeferenced specimen data play potentially an important role in biome mapping. Our study shows that herbarium data could be used as a way of ground-truthing biome maps <it>in silico</it>. The results also illustrate that herbarium data can be used to model vegetation maps through predictive modelling. The BDM approach is a promising new method in biome mapping, and could be particularly useful for mapping poorly known, fragmented, or degraded vegetation. We wish to highlight that biome delimitation is not an exact science, and that transparency is needed on how biomes are used as study units in macroevolutionary and ecological research.</p

    Vegetation maps and classification in seasonal ecosystems: a quantitative analysis of the Piura dry forests

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    Estudiamos datos de inventarios flor√≠sticos de 65 parcelas de 0,1 hect√°reas de la vegetaci√≥n estacional de las llanuras costeras de Piura usando m√©todos multivariados y an√°lisis de composici√≥n flor√≠stica. Identificamos seis grupos de vegetaci√≥n, de los cuales cinco coinciden con tipos de vegetaci√≥n descritos hace casi 100 a√Īos por Augusto Weberbauer. Por el contrario, de las ocho categor√≠as de bosque seco definidas recientemente por el Proyecto Algarrobo para el √°rea de estudio, ninguna pudo ser reconocida adecuadamente mediante m√©todos num√©ricos. Concluimos que los mapas y datos generados por Weberbauer resultan ser m√°s exactos y revelan mejor las relaciones flor√≠sticas de la vegetaci√≥n estacionalmente seca de Piura. Por lo tanto, sugerimos el uso m√°s frecuente de las descripciones propuestas por Weberbauer para la regi√≥n, paralelamente a los del Proyecto Algarrobo.We studied data from 65 0.1-hectare floristic inventories from the seasonal lowland vegetation in coastal Piura by using multivariate methods and analyses of floristic composition. We identified six vegetation groups, five of which greatly coincide with vegetation types already described 100 years ago by August Weberbauer. In contrast, we were not able to accurately identify any of the eight dry forest categories recently defined by the Proyecto Algarrobo for the study area using numerical methods. We conclude that the maps and data generated by Weberbauer are more accurate and better reveal the floristic relationships of the seasonally dry vegetation in Piura. Therefore, we suggest a more widespread use of the descriptions made by Weberbauer in the region, parallel to those of the Proyecto Algarrob

    Substrate, moisture, temperature and seed germination of the threatened endemic tree Eriotheca vargasii (Malvaceae)

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    We studied the germination of Eriotheca vargasii (Malvaceae), a poorly known endemic Peruvian Andean tree species characteristic of the dry forests of the Torobamba river valley, Peru. We determined seed characteristics, embryo morphology, viability, and assessed the influence of substrate (natural soil and commercially prepared media), temperature (controlled at 25 ¬ļC and at ambient temperature between 18-22 ¬ļC), and moisture (25 % and 50 % field capacity) on seed germination. Most seeds were ovoid in shape and although they contained well-developed embryos, only 46 % of them were viable. Substrate moisture levels had no influence on germination capacity or rate. In contrast, temperature and substrate type showed strong effects on germination. We observed the highest proportion of germinated seeds in prepared media at both temperatures tested (> 61 %). Furthermore, substrate types also influenced germination rates, with lower values in natural soil. The strongest effect on germination rates was by temperature, enhancing the difference in responses in substrate types (up to 90 % in commercially prepared media at 25 ¬ļC). The low proportion of germinated seeds in soil (< 39 %), together with external local stress factors (e.g. grazing impact by herbivores), may be the critical factors contributing to the nearly total absence of seedlings and saplings of E. vargasii in the study area despite abundant seed production. In order to ensure a supply of E. vargasii seedlings for reforestation efforts, we recommend producing E. vargasii plants in nurseries and conducting reforestation trials. We suggest that germination of seedlings is done following guidelines from this study

    Los bosques estacionalmente secos del Per√ļ: Un re-an√°lisis de sus patrones de diversidad y relaciones flor√≠sticas

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    Seasonally dry forests in Peru are a combination of ecosystems that include three large floristic groups: coastal, inter-Andean and eastern forests. Except for the seasonally dry forests of the northern coastal plains of the country, until recently it was difficult to explore what occurred floristically within each group due to lack of data. However, in the last 20 years various floristic studies and botanical inventories focused on woody plants have managed to fill knowledge gaps in critical areas. With these studies we have generated the DRYFLOR Peru database that to date includes 526 quantitative inventories (lists of species in discrete areas, including records of their abundances) and that allows us to confirm the floristic distinction of the three large groups. Additionally, we were able to clearly recognize two subgroups of seasonally dry coastal forests (on coastal plains and along the Andean piedmont), two inter-Andean subgroups (within the Mara√Ī√≥n-Mantaro and Pampas valleys) and three eastern subgroups (within the Huallaga, Tambo and Urubamba valleys). All subgroups have an assemblage of woody plant species that distinguishes and characterizes them in terms of abundance, frequency, species richness, and levels of endemism. Although we can now better describe the floristic heterogeneity of seasonally dry forests in Peru, we have identified important knowledge gaps that require urgent attention: i) we require additional inventory efforts in the eastern forests, ii) we need to resolve the floristic affinities of the forests of the Apur√≠mac valley, iii) our data agree in little more than 75% with the definitions and distribution of dry forests of the recent National Ecosystem Map of Peru, and it will be necessary to review the concept of seasonally dry forests to adequately capture its distribution in this management tool.Los bosques estacionalmente secos en el Per√ļ constituyen un conjunto de ecosistemas que incluye tres grandes grupos flor√≠sticos: bosques costeros, interandinos y orientales. Con la excepci√≥n de los bosques estacionalmente secos de las llanuras costeras del norte del pa√≠s, hasta hace poco la ausencia de datos hac√≠a dif√≠cil describir adecuadamente estos grupos en base a su flor√≠stica. En los √ļltimos 20 a√Īos, en estos bosques se han generado diversos estudios flor√≠sticos e inventarios bot√°nicos enfocados en plantas le√Īosas, que han llenado vac√≠os de conocimiento en √°reas cr√≠ticas. Con estos estudios hemos generado la base de datos DRYFLOR Per√ļ que a la fecha incluye 526 inventarios cuantitativos (listas de especies en √°reas discretas incluyendo registros de sus abundancias) y que nos permiten confirmar la distinci√≥n flor√≠stica de los tres grandes grupos. Adicionalmente logramos reconocer claramente dos subgrupos de bosques estacionalmente secos costeros (de llanura y de monta√Īa), dos subgrupos interandinos (valles del Mara√Ī√≥n-Mantaro y del Pampas) y tres subgrupos orientales (valles del Huallaga, Tambo y Urubamba). Todos los subgrupos tienen un ensamblaje de especies de plantas le√Īosas que los distingue y caracteriza en t√©rminos de abundancia, frecuencia, riqueza de especies y niveles de endemismo. Si bien ahora podemos describir mejor la heterogeneidad flor√≠stica de los bosques estacionalmente secos en el Per√ļ, hemos identificado vac√≠os de conocimiento importantes que requieren de atenci√≥n prioritaria: i) requerimos de esfuerzos de inventario adicionales en los bosques orientales, ii) necesitamos resolver las afinidades flor√≠sticas de los bosques del valle del Apur√≠mac, iii) nuestros datos coinciden en poco m√°s del 75% con las definiciones y distribuci√≥n de bosques secos del reciente Mapa Nacional de Ecosistemas del Per√ļ, y ser√° necesario revisar el concepto de bosque estacionalmente seco para lograr capturar adecuadamente su distribuci√≥n en este instrumento de gesti√≥n

    Large-scale patterns of turnover and basal area change in Andean forests

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    General patterns of forest dynamics and productivity in the Andes Mountains are poorly characterized. Here we present the first large-scale study of Andean forest dynamics using a set of 63 permanent forest plots assembled over the past two decades. In the North-Central Andes tree turnover (mortality and recruitment) and tree growth declined with increasing elevation and decreasing temperature. In addition, basal area increased in Lower Montane Moist Forests but did not change in Higher Montane Humid Forests. However, at higher elevations the lack of net basal area change and excess of mortality over recruitment suggests negative environmental impacts. In North-Western Argentina, forest dynamics appear to be influenced by land use history in addition to environmental variation. Taken together, our results indicate that combinations of abiotic and biotic factors that vary across elevation gradients are important determinants of tree turnover and productivity in the Andes. More extensive and longer-term monitoring and analyses of forest dynamics in permanent plots will be necessary to understand how demographic processes and woody biomass are responding to changing environmental conditions along elevation gradients through this century

    Expanding tropical forest monitoring into Dry Forests: The DRYFLOR protocol for permanent plots

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    This is the final version. Available on open access from Wiley via the DOI in this recordSocietal Impact Statement Understanding of tropical forests has been revolutionized by monitoring in permanent plots. Data from global plot networks have transformed our knowledge of forests’ diversity, function, contribution to global biogeochemical cycles, and sensitivity to climate change. Monitoring has thus far been concentrated in rain forests. Despite increasing appreciation of their threatened status, biodiversity, and importance to the global carbon cycle, monitoring in tropical dry forests is still in its infancy. We provide a protocol for permanent monitoring plots in tropical dry forests. Expanding monitoring into dry biomes is critical for overcoming the linked challenges of climate change, land use change, and the biodiversity crisis.Newton FundNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São PauloCYTE

    Global patterns of vascular plant alpha diversity

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    Global patterns of regional (gamma) plant diversity are relatively well known, but whether these patterns hold for local communities, and the dependence on spatial grain, remain controversial. Using data on 170,272 georeferenced local plant assemblages, we created global maps of alpha diversity (local species richness) for vascular plants at three different spatial grains, for forests and non-forests. We show that alpha diversity is consistently high across grains in some regions (for example, Andean-Amazonian foothills), but regional 'scaling anomalies' (deviations from the positive correlation) exist elsewhere, particularly in Eurasian temperate forests with disproportionally higher fine-grained richness and many African tropical forests with disproportionally higher coarse-grained richness. The influence of different climatic, topographic and biogeographical variables on alpha diversity also varies across grains. Our multi-grain maps return a nuanced understanding of vascular plant biodiversity patterns that complements classic maps of biodiversity hotspots and will improve predictions of global change effects on biodiversity

    Geographic patterns of tree dispersal modes in Amazonia and their ecological correlates

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    Aim: To investigate the geographic patterns and ecological correlates in the geographic distribution of the most common tree dispersal modes in Amazonia (endozoochory, synzoochory, anemochory and hydrochory). We examined if the proportional abundance of these dispersal modes could be explained by the availability of dispersal agents (disperser-availability hypothesis) and/or the availability of resources for constructing zoochorous fruits (resource-availability hypothesis). Time period: Tree-inventory plots established between 1934 and 2019. Major taxa studied: Trees with a diameter at breast height (DBH) ‚Č•‚ÄČ9.55‚ÄČcm. Location: Amazonia, here defined as the lowland rain forests of the Amazon River basin and the Guiana Shield. Methods: We assigned dispersal modes to a total of 5433 species and morphospecies within 1877 tree-inventory plots across terra-firme, seasonally flooded, and permanently flooded forests. We investigated geographic patterns in the proportional abundance of dispersal modes. We performed an abundance-weighted mean pairwise distance (MPD) test and fit generalized linear models (GLMs) to explain the geographic distribution of dispersal modes. Results: Anemochory was significantly, positively associated with mean annual wind speed, and hydrochory was significantly higher in flooded forests. Dispersal modes did not consistently show significant associations with the availability of resources for constructing zoochorous fruits. A lower dissimilarity in dispersal modes, resulting from a higher dominance of endozoochory, occurred in terra-firme forests (excluding podzols) compared to flooded forests. Main conclusions: The disperser-availability hypothesis was well supported for abiotic dispersal modes (anemochory and hydrochory). The availability of resources for constructing zoochorous fruits seems an unlikely explanation for the distribution of dispersal modes in Amazonia. The association between frugivores and the proportional abundance of zoochory requires further research, as tree recruitment not only depends on dispersal vectors but also on conditions that favour or limit seedling recruitment across forest types

    Geography and ecology shape the phylogenetic composition of Amazonian tree communities

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    Aim: Amazonia hosts more tree species from numerous evolutionary lineages, both young and ancient, than any other biogeographic region. Previous studies have shown that tree lineages colonized multiple edaphic environments and dispersed widely across Amazonia, leading to a hypothesis, which we test, that lineages should not be strongly associated with either geographic regions or edaphic forest types. Location: Amazonia. Taxon: Angiosperms (Magnoliids; Monocots; Eudicots). Methods: Data for the abundance of 5082 tree species in 1989 plots were combined with a mega-phylogeny. We applied evolutionary ordination to assess how phylogenetic composition varies across Amazonia. We used variation partitioning and Moran\u27s eigenvector maps (MEM) to test and quantify the separate and joint contributions of spatial and environmental variables to explain the phylogenetic composition of plots. We tested the indicator value of lineages for geographic regions and edaphic forest types and mapped associations onto the phylogeny. Results: In the terra firme and v√°rzea forest types, the phylogenetic composition varies by geographic region, but the igap√≥ and white-sand forest types retain a unique evolutionary signature regardless of region. Overall, we find that soil chemistry, climate and topography explain 24% of the variation in phylogenetic composition, with 79% of that variation being spatially structured (R2^{2}‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ19% overall for combined spatial/environmental effects). The phylogenetic composition also shows substantial spatial patterns not related to the environmental variables we quantified (R2^{2}‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ28%). A greater number of lineages were significant indicators of geographic regions than forest types. Main Conclusion: Numerous tree lineages, including some ancient ones (>66‚ÄČMa), show strong associations with geographic regions and edaphic forest types of Amazonia. This shows that specialization in specific edaphic environments has played a long-standing role in the evolutionary assembly of Amazonian forests. Furthermore, many lineages, even those that have dispersed across Amazonia, dominate within a specific region, likely because of phylogenetically conserved niches for environmental conditions that are prevalent within regions
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