Acta Botanica Brasilica
versão On-line ISSN 1677-941X
CARVALHO, Douglas Antônio de et al. Structural and floristic variations of the arboreal component of a tropical upper montane rainforest on the margin of the Rio Grande, Bocaina de Minas, Brazil. Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2005, vol.19, n.1, pp. 91-109. ISSN 1677-941X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-33062005000100010.
The tree community of an area of upper montane rain forest situated on the interior mountain-side of the Itatiaia Range, Brazil (22º13'S 44º34'W, altitude 1,210 to 1,360m), was surveyed with the purpose of assessing the correlations between their structural variations and environmental variables related to the substratum. Variations were analyzed for physiognomic structure (tree density, basal area and size distribution) and community structure (species composition, distribution and diversity). Individual trees with diameter at breast height (dbh) > 5cm were surveyed within 26 plots of 20×20m of dimensions where topographic data and samples of surface soil were also collected, the latter for chemical and textural analyses. The survey totaled 2,574 individual trees, 221 species, 120 genera and 54 families, as well as three soil classes: Yellow Latosols, Red-Yellow Latosols, and Red Latosols, distributed sequentially from the slope base to the hilltop. The tree community corresponded to the floristic and physiognomic features of the upper montane forests of southeastern Brazil, differing from those of lower altitudes in the same region. A canonical correspondence analysis detected a main gradient of tree species distribution significantly correlated with variations of the substratum along the hill-slope. There were also significant variations among the three soil habitats for species diversity but not for tree density and basal area and for height and diameter distributions. Ground water regime was probably the key environmental variable related to the floristic and structural variations of the forest.
Palavras-chave : Tropical upper montane rainforest; tree community; species diversity; environmental variables.