Aquatic vascular plants of South Brazil: checklist and a comparative floristic approach


Acta Bot. Bras.




ABSTRACT Aquatic ecosystems support species diversity, and knowledge of plant communities is essential for wetland conservation programs. This study provides a checklist of aquatic vascular plants of South Brazil and establishes their floristic affinities with bordering South America phytogeographical domains. The checklist was based on 52 sources, including 35 floristic lists, 17 regional taxonomic studies, and information from an electronic database on wetlands of South Brazil. Floristic similarities with published checklists for neighbouring regions were assessed. A total of 780 species distributed in 277 genera and 85 families of vascular plants were reported for South Brazil. Families with higher species richness were Cyperaceae (128), Poaceae (102), Asteraceae (69), Plantaginaceae (21), Lentibulariaceae (20), and Onagraceae (20). The most represented genera were Eleocharis (41) and Cyperus (24). A cluster analysis revealed high similarity with Iberá (Argentinian Chaco), Pampa and Atlantic Forest, and low similarity with Pantanal, Caatinga and the Amazon Rainforest. The high number of aquatic plant families recorded relative to temperate and tropical climates suggests a zone of biogeographical overlap in Southern Brazil. The compiled data set reveals high biodiversity of wetlands of South Brazil, provides a baseline for future research, and highlights the need for regional conservation planning.

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