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Revista de Biología Tropical

On-line version ISSN 0034-7744Print version ISSN 0034-7744


SCHMIDT-MUMM, Udo  and  JANAUER, Georg. Seasonal dynamics of the shoreline vegetation in the Zapatosa floodplain lake complex, Colombia. Rev. biol. trop [online]. 2014, vol.62, n.3, pp.1073-1097. ISSN 0034-7744.

Floodplain lakes and associated wetlands in tropical dry climates are controlled by pronounced and severe seasonal hydrologic fluctuations. We examined the plant community response to a bimodal flooding pattern in the Zapatosa Floodplain Lake Complex (ZFLC), Northern Colombia. We measured floristic and quantitative change in four sampling periods emphasizing seasonal differences in plant abundance and life-form structure. Of 79 species identified in the lake complex, 52 were used to characterize eight community types via classification and ordination procedures. Results showed that community structure does not change significantly during the flooding/receding stages. But maximum drawdown phase significantly disrupts the aquatic community structure and the exposed shorelines become colonized by ruderal terrestrial plants. Early rainfalls at the beginning of the wet season are emphasized as an important feature of plant regeneration and community development. The general strategy of the ZFLC vegetation can be framed into the flood pulse concept of river-floodplain systems. Thus, plant communities are mainly responding to disturbances and destruction events imposed by extreme water level fluctuations. Rev. Biol. Trop. 62 (3): 1073-1097. Epub 2014 September 01.

Keywords : Cesar River; flood pulse; littoral; macrophytes; Magdalena River; shallow lakes; bimodal seasonality.

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