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Acta Botanica Brasilica

Print version ISSN 0102-3306On-line version ISSN 1677-941X

Abstract

SUHS, Rafael Barbizan et al. Species diversity, community structure and ecological traits of trees in an upper montane forest, southern Brazil. Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2019, vol.33, n.1, pp.153-162. ISSN 0102-3306.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0102-33062018abb0250.

Upper montane ecosystems in Brazil are little known, and their structural and functional aspects poorly understood. Our goals were to describe tree species diversity and community structure, and to characterize tree species in relation to their ecological traits, phytogeographic history and conservation status in an upper montane araucaria forest remnant. A total of 26 species belonging to 18 families were found in a 1-hectare permanent plot. The tree community mainly comprised trees with diameters of less than 20 cm and heights of between 6.5 and 9.5 m. Drimys angustifolia and Myrceugenia regnelliana had the highest importance values. Most species were shade tolerant while most individuals were pioneers. Most species and individuals presented zoophily and zoochory. Most sampled species and individuals were related to araucaria forests. Seven species are threatened to some degree while one species, Crinodendron brasiliensis, besides threatened, is also endemic to the region. The presence of endemic and endangered species demonstrates that the studied area serves important conservation purposes. Furthermore, the present study demonstrates the important role that upper montane regions have for conservation and describes the structural patterns of still poorly studied habitats, reinforcing the importance such systems have in maintaining species diversity at high elevations.

Keywords : Araucaria forest; conservation; diversity; ecological traits; floristics; mixed rainforest; permanent plots; phytogeography; PPBio; upper montane.

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