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Acta Botanica Brasilica

Print version ISSN 0102-3306

Abstract

BUNGER, Mariana de Oliveira; STEHMANN, João Renato  and  OLIVEIRA-FILHO, Ary Teixeira. Myrtaceae throughout the Espinhaço Mountain Range of centraleastern Brazil: floristic relationships and geoclimatic controls. Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2014, vol.28, n.1, pp.109-119. ISSN 0102-3306.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-33062014000100011.

Although biological surveys and taxonomic revisions provide key information to ecological and evolutionary studies, there is a clear lack of floristic and phytogeographic studies of the mountainous regions of Brazil, which harbor some of the most threatened plant ecosystems on the planet. Myrtaceae has been reported to be one of the most important families in the upland areas of Brazil, as well as in the Atlantic Forest Domain. In this study, we investigated the floristic composition of Myrtaceae throughout the Espinhaço Mountain Range and adjacent highlands of central-eastern Brazil, testing the following hypotheses: floristic similarity increases with geographic proximity; and species distribution is affected by geoclimatic variables. We performed statistical analyses using a database containing records of 199 species in 19 areas and of their respective geoclimatic variables. We also performed ordination analysis using non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS), the first and second axes of which explained 69% and 78% of the variation, respectively. The NMDS analysis demonstrated that variations in the Myrtaceae flora are highly sensitive to geoclimatic variables and geographic proximity. The NMDS ordination also showed a predominantly south-north gradient, as did the cluster analysis. This gradient was highly correlated with variations in rainfall and temperature, which are also associated with the three domains that coincide with the Espinhaço Mountain Range.

Keywords : floristic connections; montane regions; multivariate analysis; Atlantic Forest.

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