Emerging hotspots of tree richness in Brazil


Acta Bot. Bras.




ABSTRACT We present a summary of floristic variation and distribution of richness of tree and tree-like taxa (i.e., freestanding plants that reach at least 3m in height) in Brazil. We investigated composition patterns throughout phytogeographic domains and vegetation types based on 698,490 occurrence records obtained from the NeoTropTree (NTT) database, and used rarefaction and extrapolation methods to compare species richness. We delimited areas of high taxa richness in Brazil by applying the Geographic Interpolation of Endemism method. There are 9,108 tree species catalogued in NTT for Brazil, but our extrapolations indicate that the total could reach 9,525 species. Predominantly forested domains showed the greatest richness of taxa with the Amazon domain having the highest number of exclusive taxa. Fabaceae and Myrtaceae were the most represented families. The richest vegetation types were Rain Evergreen Forest and Seasonally Semideciduous Forest. Distribution patterns of richness in Brazil and among its domains were found to be controlled by different spatial scales for each taxon. Transition zones had high species richness. The patterns found here can help to identify priority areas for biodiversity conservation in Brazil.

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