Changes in soil cryptogamic communities in tropical Ecuadorean páramos

González, Y. and Aragón, G. and Benítez, A. and Prieto, M. (2017) Changes in soil cryptogamic communities in tropical Ecuadorean páramos. Community Ecology, 18 (1). pp. 11-20. ISSN 1585-8553


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Altitudinal gradients involve macroclimatic changes that can affect the diversity of several organisms. We tested the effects of elevation and small-scale variables on the diversity and composition of terricolous communities (lichens and bryophytes) in five páramos in southern Ecuador. The altitudinal range considered (from 2700 to 4000 m a.s.l.) is associated with changes in rainfall, temperature and irradiance. At each páramo, forty 40 x 40 cm<sup>2</sup> sample plots were randomly selected in similar areas of vegetation (grass páramo) and conservation status. The presence/absence and cover of lichens and bryophytes were recorded in 200 sample plots. A total of 90 species (46 lichens and 44 bryophytes) were identified. Our results showed that total species richness, lichen and bryophyte richness, Simpson’s inverse and Shannon’s index were related to elevation and slope. Nevertheless, the response to elevation was dependent on the organism considered. Thus, meanwhile lichens had their maximum richness at the highest elevation (3930 m a.s.l.), bryophytes had a maximum peak at middle elevation (3300 m a.s.l.). Species composition also differed significantly among the five páramos, especially in bryophytes. We conclude that differences in the elevation of these páramos and small-scale variables such as slope significantly affect the diversity and composition of terricolous communities. | <abstract abstract-type="graphical"> <supplementary-material position="float" xlink:href="suppl/168.2017.18.1.2_ESM.pdf" orientation="portrait"> <label>Supporting Information</label> <caption> Supporting Information </caption> </supplementary-material>

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QH Natural history / természetrajz > QH540 Ecology / ökológia
Depositing User: Ágnes Sallai
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2017 09:47
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2018 23:15

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