Palm species richness, latitudinal gradients, sampling effort and deforestation in the Amazon region

Carlos Mariano Alvez Valles, Henrik Balslev, Roosevelt Garcia-Villacorta, Fabrício Alvim Carvalho, Luiz Menini Neto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Palms are most diverse in warm and humid regions near the equator. Though palms remain relatively well conserved, they are under increasing pressure from deforestation. Here, we analyze patterns of palm species richness relative to latitudinal gradient, sampling effort, and deforestation in the Amazon, and compare patterns of richness and floristic similarity among Amazonian sub-regions. We built a database of 17,310 records for 177 species. The areas with the greatest richness were in the western, central and northeastern Amazon, principally at latitudes 0–5ºS. Species richness and the number of records were highly correlated (R2=0.76, P<0.005). The highest rates of deforestation (>2000 km2) were found in the southern and eastern Amazon of Brazil, which coincide with low richness and gaps in records. Similarity analyzes resulted in two groups of sub-regions: the first included the Amazon s.s., the Andes and the Guiana, while the second included the Plateau and Gurupi. We conclude that the highest species richness is at low latitudes, and observed richness is affected by sampling effort and is vulnerable to deforestation. Therefore, areas with low species richness, especially areas with data deficiency, need to be further studied for a better understanding of their patterns of diversity and richness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-539
Number of pages13
JournalActa Botanica Brasilica
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (UFJF), CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior), OEA (Organización de estados Americanos) and GCUB (Grupo Coimbra de Universidades Brasileiras) for financial support. HB thanks the Danish Council for Independent Research-Natural Sciences [grant#4181-00158] and the European Community [FP7 grant #212631]. The authors also thank the reviewers for contributing with their comments.

Funding Information:
The authors thank the Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (UFJF), CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior), OEA (Organización de estados Americanos) and GCUB (Grupo Coimbra de Universidades Brasileiras) for financial support. HB thanks the Danish Council for Independent Research - Natural Sciences [grant#4181-00158] and the European Community [FP7 grant #212631]. The authors also thank the reviewers for contributing with their comments.

Keywords

  • Amazon palms
  • Amazon sub-regions
  • Ecology of palms
  • Richness patterns
  • Species occurrence records

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