White sand vegetation in an Amazonian lowland under the perspective of a young geological history


An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc.




Abstract: What controls the formation of patchy substrates of white sand vegetation in the Amazonian lowlands is still unclear. This research integrated the geological history and plant inventories of a white sand vegetation patch confined to one large fan-shaped sandy substrate of northern Amazonia, which is related to a megafan environment. We examined floristic patterns to determine whether abundant species are more often generalists than the rarer one, by comparing the megafan environments and older basement rocks. We also investigated the pattern of species accumulation as a function of increasing sampling effort. All plant groups recorded a high proportion of generalist species on the megafan sediments compared to older basement rocks. The vegetation structure is controlled by topographic gradients resulting from the smooth slope of the megafan morphology and microreliefs imposed by various megafan subenvironments. Late Pleistocene-Holocene environmental disturbances caused by megafan sedimentary processes controlled the distribution of white sand vegetation over a large area of the Amazonian lowlands, and may have also been an important factor in species diversification during this period. The integration of geological and biological data may shed new light on the existence of many patches of white sand vegetation from the plains of northern Amazonia.

Documentos Relacionados