Heterogeneity of fern communities in riparian forest remnants from the south Brazilian campos (Pampa)

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Abstract

Riparian forests present biotic and abiotic factors that influence environmental dissimilarity, which reflect specific fern distribution. The purpose of this this study was to evaluate the environmental heterogeneity associated to the terrestrial fern communities in riparian forest remnants in the grasslands southern half of Rio Grande do Sul state. We sampled ten 5×5 m plots in each site (AI, AII and AIII), totaling 30 plots. In each plot, fern species were inventoried and vegetative, microclimatic and edaphic parameters were collected. A total of 24 species were surveyed in the three riparian forest remnants, distributed in 19 genera and 10 families. The Principal Components Analysis (PCA) showed that plots of AI had the highest temperature and aluminum values, while humidity was the lowest, which was reflected in the decrease of ferns richness. Soil moisture and air humidity were variables more related to the plots of AII and AII, indicating that these plants were favored in these environments. The floristic identity characteristic of each site suggests that many species are dependent to certain local environmental conditions. In this sense, even in very geographically close sites, riparian remnants deserve conservation attention, since they are capable of harboring high diversity in this grassland phytophysiognomy in southern Brazil. The results of this integrated study, with vegetation, climatic, and edaphic parameters, suggest, as expected, that ferns categorically respond to the heterogeneity shown by riparian environments, even when fragments are geographically very close to each other.

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Silva, V. L., Orlandi, C. R., Funck, L., Winhelmann, M. C., Schmitt, J. L., Fior, C. S., & Freitas, E. M. (2020). Heterogeneity of fern communities in riparian forest remnants from the south Brazilian campos (Pampa). Brazilian Journal of Biology, 80(4), 803–813. https://doi.org/10.1590/1519-6984.221124

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