, Volume 95, Issue 1, pp 21-32

Regional interpretation of environmental gradients which influence Trachypogon savannas in the Orinoco Llanos

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Abstract

Multivariate structural data describing Trachypogon savanna relationships were used to characterize the sources of variation among savannas as a function of the environmental characteristics of the Orinoco Llanos. Twenty-six savannas including major physiognomic types of the Orinoco Llanos ranging from herbaceous to bush island savannas were ordinated on a regional scale. Results of Detrented Canonical Correspondence Analysis (DCCA) using floristics variables indicated that savannas were ordinated along two complex gradients. A soil physical and chemical gradient as expressed by changes in bulk density and magnesium concentration were evident after the analysis of the first DCCA axis. The second axis was a climatic gradient of decreasing annual precipitation and incresing monthly precipitation during the dry season. The impact of human disturbance on the savanna composition was also an explanatory variable of the second DCCA axis. Savanna sites overlapped considerably in composition and most species were widely distributed, with aboveground phytomass abundance depending upon the site.