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Brazilian Journal of Botany
On-line version ISSN 1806-9959
PIMENTEL, Marina C.P. et al. Spatial variation in the structure and floristic composition of "restinga" vegetation in southeastern Brazil. Rev. bras. Bot. [online]. 2007, vol.30, n.3, pp. 543-551. ISSN 1806-9959. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-84042007000300018.
We examined large-scale spatial variation of structural parameters and floristic composition in open Clusia scrub, a vegetation type of the Brazilian "restingas" (sandy coastal plain vegetation). This vegetation is organized in islands separated by sandy stretches with sparse herbaceous vegetation. We located 12 sample areas on three consecutive beach ridges, lying parallel to the coastline and at different distances from the ocean, in close proximity to two lagoons (Cabiúnas and Comprida). Each sample area was divided into three strips. We used the line intercept method to sample all woody plants ³ 50 cm tall. We used nested ANOVA to verify structural variation between different sampling scales. TWINSPAN analysis was performed to examine the variation in floristic composition between areas. The overall diversity index was 3.07. Six species are repeatedly dominant throughout the entire sampling area. There was homogeneity in relation to diversity and species richness between beach ridges but not within beach ridges. Floristic composition and structural parameters did not vary in relation to distance from the sea but floristic composition did vary as a function of proximity to Cabiúnas or Comprida lagoon. Differences in plant cover between sample areas may be related to the paleoformation of this sandy coastal plain.
Keywords : phytosociology; plant community; sampling scale; sandy coastal plain.