Revista de Biología Tropical
version ISSN 0034-7744
EMIDIO DA SILVA, Kátia et al. Floristic composition and similarity of 15 hectares in Central Amazon, Brazil. Rev. biol. trop [online]. 2011, vol.59, n.4, pp. 1927-1938. ISSN 0034-7744.
The Amazon region is one of the most diverse areas in the world. Research on high tropical forest diversity brings up relevant contributions to understand the mechanisms that result and support such diversity. In the present study we describe the species composition and diversity of 15 one-ha plots in the Amazonian terra firme dense forest in Brazil, and compare the floristic similarity of these plots with other nine one-ha plots. The 15 plots studied were randomly selected from permanent plots at the Embrapa Experimental site, Amazonas State in 2005. The diversity was analysed by using species richness and Shannon’s index, and by applying the Sorensen’s index for similarity and unweighted pair-group average (UPGMA) as clustering method. Mantel test was performed to study whether the differences in species composition between sites could be explained by the geographic distance between them. Overall, we identified 8 771 individuals, 264 species and 51 plant families. Most of the species were concentrated in few families and few had large number of individuals. Families presenting the highest species richness were Fabaceae (Faboideae: 22spp., Mimosoideae: 22spp.), Sapotaceae: 22spp., Lecythidaceae: 15 and Lauraceae: 13. Burseraceae had the largest number of individuals with 11.8% of the total. The ten most abundant species were: Protium hebetatum (1 037 individuals), Eschweilera coriacea (471), Licania oblongifolia (310), Pouteria minima (293), Ocotea cernua (258), Scleronema micranthum (197), Eschweilera collina (176), Licania apelata (172), Naucleopsis caloneura (170) and Psidium araca (152), which represented 36.5% of all individuals. Approximately 49% of species had up to ten individuals and 13% appeared only once in all sampled plots, showing a large occurrence of rare species. Our study area is on a forest presenting a high tree species diversity with Shannon’s diversity index of 4.49. The dendrogram showed two groups of plots with low similarity between them (less than 0.25), and the closer the plots were one to another, more similar in species composition (Mantel R=0.3627, p<0.01). The 15 plots in our study area share more than 50% of their species composition and represent the group of plots that have the shortest distance between each other. Overall, our results highlight the high local and regional heterogeneity of environments in terra firme forests, and the high occurrence of rare species, which should be considered in management and conservation programs in the Amazon rainforest, in order to maintain its structure on the long run. Rev. Biol. Trop. 59 (4): 1927-1938. Epub 2011 December 01.
Keywords : forest composition; Central Amazonian; forest ecology; floristic similarity; diversity; terra firme; upland dense forest.