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Acta Botanica Brasilica

Print version ISSN 0102-3306


LONDE, Vinícius  and  SILVA, José Carlos da. Characterization of Poaceae (grass) species as indicators of the level of degradation in a stretch of riparian forest in Matutina, Brazil. Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2014, vol.28, n.1, pp.102-108. ISSN 0102-3306.

Despite their extreme importance for environmental balance, riparian forests have been severely disturbed over time. This study aimed to identify grass species and determine their distribution in a disturbed stretch of riparian forest along Pimentas creek, in the municipality of Matutina, which is in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Among four plots established within the study area, we recorded Pennisetum purpureum Schumach., Urochloa mutica (Forssk.) T.Q. Nguyen, Urochloa decumbens (Stapf) R.D. Webster, Paspalum notatum Flüggé and Andropogon bicornis L. The most common species was Pennisetum purpureum, which occurred in all of the plots, more frequently in those that had been disturbed. The proportions of exotic and native grasses, as well as their distribution, differed significantly among the plots. The distribution of the grass species varied according to the level of degradation of the creek bank, occurring more frequently where the bank had been disturbed. Therefore, we assume that grasses can be used as indicators of degradation in riparian zones. We also found that grasses are less efficient in preventing erosion than is the typical riparian vegetation.

Keywords : riparian zone; perturbation; creek banks; bioindicators.

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