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01.01.2014 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 1/2014

Biodiversity and Conservation 1/2014

Beta-diversity in seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTF) in the Caatinga Biogeographic Domain, Brazil, and its implications for conservation

Zeitschrift:
Biodiversity and Conservation > Ausgabe 1/2014
Autoren:
Deborah Mattos Guimarães Apgaua, Rubens Manoel dos Santos, Diego Gualberto Sales Pereira, Gisele Cristina de Oliveira Menino, Gabriela Gomes Pires, Marco Aurélio Leite Fontes, David Yue Phin Tng

Abstract

Tropical biomes are species rich, but some biomes such as seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs) are still inadequately studied compared to their co-occurring rain forest and savanna. SDTFs occur in areas of high environmental heterogeneity, resulting in high beta (β)-diversity or species turnover, but this has so far only been accessed using a single β-diversity measure, and at a spatial scale that is of limited applicability for reserve planning. The Caatinga Biogeographic Domain in Brazil contains the largest known extent of SDTF which are poorly studied and inadequately reserved. We therefore studied the variation in species richness and species turnover among SDTF between localities and between known floristic communities. From six localities within the Caatinga Biogeographic Domain we recorded all tree species with a circumference at breast height equaling or exceeding 10 cm within 106 400 m2 survey plots. From the species presence/absence data we calculated three measures of β-diversity between pairs of study localities and between different floristic communities representing: (i) species similarity, (ii) differences between species richness, and (iii) species gain and loss. Our results confirm the high β-diversity of SDTFs and species turnover between localities and also between floristic communities. The three indices were also complementary to each other and can be used to maximize accuracy in β-diversity studies. The implications of our study for conservation and reserve planning of SDTFs are discussed.

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