Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Botany]]> vol. 35 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Editorial</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Germination, initial growth, and biomass allocation in three native <i>Cerrado</i> species</b>]]> The parameters of germination, initial growth, and biomass allocation of three native plant species of Cerrado (Copaifera langsdorffii, Dipteryx alata and Kielmeyera coriacea) were established. The species had germination percentages above 88% and average germination times longer than 139 hours. The average time for the opening of the first leaf pair was more than 538 hours for all three species. The average root length of C. langsdorffii and D. alata seedlings after 80 days of growth was around 40cm, four times larger than the average shoot length (<10cm), although the root and shoot biomasses were similar for both species. The average root length (&gt;20cm) of K. coriacea seedlings was four times larger than the average shoot length (<5cm), and the root biomass was 243% greater than the shoot biomass. Increase in seedling biomass was sustained primarily by the cotyledons in C. langsdorffii and D. alata, which acted as reserve organs and showed progressive weight reductions. Increase in seedling biomass in K. coriacea was sustained primarily by photosynthesis, since the cotyledons showed no significant weight reduction, acting primarily as photosynthetic organs. The length of the root systems was at least four times larger than the length of the shoots parts in all three species. Higher investment in root length rather than in root biomass suggest that the initial growth of these species is primarily to ensure access to water resources, apparently putting off the function of the radicular system as storage organ. <![CDATA[<b>Allozyme variation in a natural population of <i>Stryphnodendron adstringens</i> in the Rio Preto State Park, southeastern Brazil</b>]]> Leaves and fruits from 63 Stryphnodendron adstringens trees were sampled in the Rio Preto State Park to analyze allozyme segregation, tissue specific expression of allozyme loci, and their genetic parameters. The enzyme systems ADH, EST, ACP, PGM, PGI, GDH, G6PDH, GOT, IDH, LAP, MDH, PER and SKDH were assessed by means of starch-gel electrophoresis. The polymorphic systems PGI, IDH, MDH and GOT demonstrated a dimeric quaternary structure, while EST and PER were monomeric. The total expected genetic diversity (H E) for leaves and seeds were 0.325 and 0.244 respectively. The effective number of alleles per locus (A E) was 1.58 in leaves and 1.42 in seeds. The values of H E and A E observed in S. adstringens were comparatively higher than the average values seen in allozyme studies of other woody plants. The values of the fixation indices for the population, considering leaves (f = 0.070) and seeds (f = 0.107), were not significant. The high values of genetic diversity and of effective number of alleles per locus, as well as the non-significant fixation index and the adjustments of the Hardy-Weinberg proportions between generations for the pgi-1, mdh-2 and idh-1 loci, indicated random mating in this population. The enzyme systems EST and PER demonstrated their best resolution in leaf tissues, while the MDH, IDH, PGI and GOT systems demonstrated their best resolution in seed tissues. <![CDATA[<b>Floristic composition and phytogeography of the tree component of Araucaria Forest fragments in southern Brazil</b>]]> The present study examined the floristic composition of three fragments of Araucaria Forest (AF) in the Planalto Catarinense region of southern Brazil as well as the floristic contextualization of these areas in relation to other remnant AF sites. Three AF fragments at different altitudes were analyzed in the municipalities of Campos Novos, Lages, and Painel. Fifty 200 m² plots were examined in each fragment and all of the trees with CBH (circumference at breast height) > 15.7 cm were identified. In order to floristically contextualize the study fragments, comparisons were made with other remnant AF sites by way of dendrograms and NMDS (Non-metric multidimensional scaling). Environmental and spatial variables were plotted on the diagram produced by the NMDS to evaluate their influence on the floristic patterns encountered. The forest fragments studied demonstrated high floristic heterogeneity, indicating that AFs cannot be considered homogeneous formations and they could be classified into 3 phytogeographical categories: i) high altitude areas influenced by cloud cover/fog, including the Painel region; ii) areas of lesser altitude and greater mean annual temperatures situated in the Paraná River basin, and iii) areas situated in the Paraná and Upper-Uruguay river basins and the smaller basins draining directly into the southern Atlantic, near Campos Novos and Lages. The environmental variables most highly correlated with species substitutions among the sites were altitude, mean annual temperature, and the mean temperature of the most humid trimester. <![CDATA[<b>Impacts of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam construction on pioneer vegetation formations along the Xingu River, Pará State, Brazil</b>]]> There is an important pioneer vegetation formation along the Xingu River in the area where the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam is being constructed that is highly adapted to a seasonally fluctuating water levels. The aim of this study was to examine the habitat and flora of the pioneer formations in the Belo Monte area. The area was divided in three sections for study purposes (Reservoir, Low Flow, and Control) that were expected to experience different degrees of impact from the dam project. The calculations of habitat losses were based on satellite imagery classifications, and a total of 111 plots were established in the three areas for vegetation sampling. Habitat losses of the pioneer formations will total 89.7% when the project is fully functional. Forty-five of the 72 recorded species are restricted to single areas. Species richness and diversity were significantly lower in the control area. The completion of the Belo Monte reservoir will result in habitat reductions and will consequently reduce the richness and diversity of pioneer formations. Studies suggest monitoring the populations located in the reduced flow area to determine possible impacts resulting from changes in the regional hydrological cycle caused by the Xingu River dam. <![CDATA[<b>Corticolous cyanobacteria from tropical forest remnants in northwestern São Paulo State, Brazil</b>]]> Cyanobacteria are common in aquatic environments but are also well-adapted to terrestrial habitats where they are represented by a diversified flora. The present study aimed to contribute to our taxonomic knowledge of terrestrial cyanobacteria by way of a floristic survey of the main components of corticolous communities found in seasonal semideciduous forest fragments. Samples of visible growths of Cyanobacteria, algae, and bryophytes found on tree bark were randomly collected and their taxonomies examined. Eighteen species of Cyanobacteria were found belonging to the genera Aphanothece, Chroococcus, Lyngbya, Phormidium, Porphyrosiphon, Hapalosiphon, Hassalia, Nostoc, Scytonema, and Stigonema. Many genera and species observed in the present work have been reported in previous surveys of the aerophytic flora in several regions of the world, although six species were described only on the basis of populations found in the forest fragments studied, which highlights the importance of taxonomic studies of cyanobacteria in these habitats. <![CDATA[<b>Planktonic diatoms in lotic and lentic environments in the Lago dos Tigres hydrologic system (Britânia, Goiás, Brazil)</b>: <b>Coscinodiscophyceae and Fragilariophyceae</b>]]> A floristic study of Coscinodiscophyceae and Fragilariophyceae in the Lago dos Tigres hydrologic system is presented. Phytoplankton samples were collected with a plankton net (25 µm mesh) at 11 sampling stations, three in lotic areas and eight in lacustrine zones. Eleven species of Coscinodiscophyceae and eight of Fragilariophyceae were identified; descriptions, comments, their geographic distributions for the midwestern region of Brazil, type of environment (lentic/lotic), and illustrations are provided. Among the taxa found, 13 were recorded for the first time in midwestern Brazil: Aulacoseira alpigena, A. distans, A. granulata var. angustissima, A. granulata var. valida, A. muzzanensis, Discostella stelligera var. stelligera, Fragilaria capucina var. fragilarioides, F. delicatissima var. delicatissima, F. javanica, Pleurosira laevis, Staurosira acutirostrata, Staurosirella crassa, and Ulnaria ulna. <![CDATA[<b>Lecythidaceae Poit. in the Tupé Sustainable Development Reserve, Manaus, Brazil</b>]]> Lecythidaceae is the family of the Brazil nut, and comprises about 300 species belonging to 17 genera with pantropical distributions. One hundred and twenty-two species belonging to nine genera are distributed throughout Brazil, demonstrating its greatest diversity in the Amazon rainforest where Lecythidaceae is also one of the most abundant families. It is usually difficult to collect fertile material from these trees because of their canopy heights, and species determinations using sterile material can be complex because of their morphological similarities. There have been relatively few studies of this family even though it is one of the most important groups in the Amazon region, and a detailed taxonomic treatment of the species of Lecythidaceae in the Tupé Sustainable Development Reserve was therefore the goal of the present work. Ten species were found, Allantoma lineata (Mart. ex O.Berg) Miers, Bertholletia excelsa Bonpl., Couratari tenuicarpa A.C.Sm., Lecythis poiteaui O. Berg; and six species of Eschweilera, the richest genus. The descriptions and identification keys of the species used 56 characters. The main reproductive characters useful for distinguishing the species were the pubescence of the inflorescence rachis, pedicel length and trichomes presence, floral symmetry, hood type, filament shape, stigma shape, fruit shape and size, and aril type. The most diagnostic vegetative characters were the type and color of the outer bark, inner bark color, midrib prominence, and petiole shape and pubescence. <![CDATA[<b>The genera <i>Chara</i> and <i>Nitella</i> (Chlorophyta, Characeae) in the subtropical Itaipu Reservoir, Brazil</b>]]> The family Characeae, represented by two genera in Brazil, Chara and Nitella, is considered to include the closest living relatives of land plants, and its members play important ecological role in aquatic ecosystems. The present taxonomic survey of Chara and Nitella was performed in tributaries that join to form the Brazilian shore of the Itaipu Reservoir on the Paraná River. Thirteen species were recorded, illustrated, and described: C. braunii var. brasiliensis R.Bicudo, C. guairensis R.Bicudo, N. acuminata A.Braun ex Wallman, N. furcata (Roxburgh ex Bruzileus) C.Agardh, and N. subglomerata A.Braun, already cited for the reservoir, and C. hydropitys Reichenbach, C. rusbyana Howe, N. axillaris A.Braun, N. glaziovii G.Zeller, N. gracilis (Smith) C.Agardh, N. hyalina (DC.) C.Agardh, N. inversa Imahori, and N. microcarpa A.Braun that represent new occurrences for the Itaipu Reservoir and Paraná State. Among the species encountered, C. guairensis, N. furcata, and N. glaziovii are widely distributed, while C. hydropitys and C. rusbyana have more restricted distributions. <![CDATA[<b>Brazil on the spot</b>: <b>Rio+20, sustainability and a role for science</b>]]> Rio +20, or the United Nations Conference for Sustainable Development, will take place at the end of this month of June 2012. In this paper, our central argument is that Brazil, as the host of Rio+20, has a historic opportunity to make the conference a success and take a decisive step in becoming a world leader in the shift from the traditional development paradigm to a new, sustainable development paradigm. To do that, Brazil will have to resolve a paradox: on the one hand the country has modern legislation and world class science, and on the other hand very poor social and environmental decision-making in recent times. In this column, we examine the green economy as a trajectory that leads to sustainable development and describe some pilot experiences at the sub-national level in Brazil. We discuss how science, and particularly plant sciences, will be essential to the transition to sustainable development. Finally, we propose immediate actions that we call upon the Brazilian government to commit to and to announce during this pivotal Rio+20 moment, which should serve as a milestone for all nations in building a sustainable future.