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Brazilian Journal of Biology
On-line version ISSN 1519-6984
SCREMIN-DIAS, E; LORENZ-LEMKE, AP and OLIVEIRA, AKM. The floristic heterogeneity of the Pantanal and the occurrence of species with different adaptive strategies to water stress. Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2011, vol.71, n.1, suppl.1, pp. 275-282. ISSN 1519-6984. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842011000200006.
The Pantanal is characterised by a diversity of environments with areas ranging from periodic or permanent heavy flooding to areas with low flood levels, and even environments that never flood. Plant species which inhabit the floodplain are distributed in specific niches, with influence of various phytogeographic domains, including the Seasonal Semi-deciduous Forest, Amazon Rainforest, Cerrado and Chaco, as well rocky remnants, with a wide ecological span in their components. In intensely flooded areas, aquatic macrophytes are widely distributed, with their dynamics closely linked to time, depth and extent of flooding. Although the term "Pantanal" suggests a huge swamp-type wetland, water level variation during a seasonal cycle does not directly reach the root system of many plants. The landscape diversity of the Pantanal wetland is molded by the flood pulse, which interferes with the dynamics of plant communities. Therefore, the retraction and expansion of populations or communities is reflected in important ecological characteristics, considering the variety of morphological, anatomical and ecophysiological features of the species, whose phenotype is the result of a particular genotype. The present study discusses peculiar issues in the adaptation of species distributed in the Pantanal biome and underscores the importance of multidisciplinary approaches to obtain conclusive data on adaptive studies.
Keywords : flood pulse; ecophysiological features; adaptation of species.