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Brazilian Journal of Botany
On-line version ISSN 1806-9959
CONCEICAO, Abel Augusto; PIRANI, José Rubens and MEIRELLES, Sergio Tadeu. Floristics, structure and soil of insular vegetation in four quartzite-sandstone outcrops of "Chapada Diamantina", Northeast Brazil . Rev. bras. Bot. [online]. 2007, vol.30, n.4, pp. 641-656. ISSN 1806-9959. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-84042007000400009.
Soil islands on rocky surfaces often harbor aggregated vegetation that consists of insular plant communities. These islands are typical of the rocky outcrops and in various parts of Brazil form the so-called "campos rupestres" vegetation. Four of such sites have been selected in the state of Bahia, Northeast Brazil, for this comparative study on floristics and vegetation structure: three areas situated inside the "Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina" (Guiné, Fumaça and "Gerais da Fumaça") and one is at the border of the Environmental Protection Area of "Marimbus-Iraquara" ("Mãe Inácia"). All occurring vegetation islands were studied in four random plots of 10 × 10 m per site. Soil was often shallow, sandy and acidic. Vascular plant species were determined, with respective life forms and canopy coverage areas. The total number of species when all four sites were added was 135, and the number of species per island varied from 2 to 32. The areas of the 214 soil islands varied from 0.015 to 91.9 m2, totaling 568 m2 in the four sites. Monocotyledon families were dominant, essentially Velloziaceae, as well as Orchidaceae, Bromeliaceae, Amaryllidaceae and Cyperaceae. Among the eudicotyledons, dominant families were mainly Clusiaceae, Asteraceae and Melastomataceae. The biological spectra revealed that phanerophytes and hemicryptophytes predominated among the life forms, while chamaephytes had the largest coverage area. Epilithic and desiccant chamaephytes composed the most conspicuous interspecific associations, and were probably related to early successional processes. Sites closest to one another were not the most similar in structure, indicating that other factors more relevant than distance might be involved in the abundance of species in space.
Keywords : floristics; rocky outcrops; soil islands on rocks; vegetation islands; vegetation structure.