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Ecología en Bolivia

On-line version ISSN 2075-5023


MOSTACEDO, Bonifacio; BALCAZAR, Julio  and  MONTERO, Juan Carlos. Forest types, diversity and floristic composition in the southwestern amazon of Bolivia. Ecología en Bolivia [online]. 2006, vol.41, n.2, pp. 99-116. ISSN 2075-5023.

The forest types, species richness, and floristic composition of the southwestern Amazon are poorly known. The objective of this study was to define the main forest types based on floristic composition and species abundance, and to compare these characteristics with surrounding areas. We sampled 30 1 ha plots in the department of Pando, Bolivia by identifying species, and quantifying the number of individuals, tree height, crown position, and liana infestation for trees ≥ 10 cm diameter. We also measured environmental variables including fisiography, slope, drainage, soil type and soil deepth. Based on principal component analyses we defined five forest types: terra firme high forest, precambrian shield tall forest, forest island, igapo forest, and varzea forest. The terra firme tall forest covered the majority of the area we sampled (~60%) and was extremely variable. Most of the forest types contained around 40 plant families, except the igapo forest (26). Moraceae, Palmae, and Leguminosae were the most abundant families in almost all forest types. The terra firme high forest (101) and precambrian shield tall forest (113) had the greatest species richness. An island of forest and terra firme forest had the greater diversity index. Individual abundance was similar between forest types (average = 593 individuals). This study shows the high species richness of some forest types that still remain unfragmented. The uniqueness of these forest types should be recognized and targeted for conservation and management.

Keywords : Amazonian forests; Bolivia; Pando; floristic composition; tree richness.

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