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The study of aquatic macrophytes in Neotropics: a scientometrical view of the main trends and gaps

O estudo de macrófitas aquáticas na região neotropical: uma visão cienciométrica dos principais padrões e lacunas

Aquatic macrophytes comprises a diverse group of organisms including angiosperms, ferns, mosses, liverworts and some macroalgae that occur in seasonally or permanently wet environments. Among other implications, aquatic macrophytes are highly productive and with an important structuring role on aquatic environments. Ecological studies involving aquatic plants substantially increased in the last years. However, a precise view of researches devoted to aquatic macrophytes in Neotropics is necessary to reach a reliable evaluation of the scientific production. In the current study, we performed a scientometrics analysis of the scientific production devoted to Neotropical macrophytes in an attempt to find the main trends and gaps of researches concerning this group. The publication devoted to macrophytes in Neotropics increased conspicuously in the last two decades. Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Chile were the most productive among Neotropical countries. Our analyses showed that the studies dealt mostly with the influences of aquatic macrophytes on organisms and abiotic features. Studies with a predictive approach or aiming to test ecological hypothesis are scarce. In addition, researches aiming to describe unknown species are still necessary. This is essential to support conservation efforts and to subsidize further investigations testing ecological hypotheses.

macrophytes; Neotropics; scientometrics; trends; lacks

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