, Volume 76, Issue 2, pp 273–277

Distribution of C3 and C4 grasses at different altitudes in a temperate arid region of Argentina

  • J. B. Cavagnaro
Original Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF00379962

Cite this article as:
Cavagnaro, J.B. Oecologia (1988) 76: 273. doi:10.1007/BF00379962


The distribution of native C3 and C4 grasses in a temperate arid region of Mendoza, Argentina, was studied in six areas at different altitudes. C4 species predominate at low elevations in both relative species abundance and plant cover. At high elevations C3 species are dominant in cover and composition. At medium altitudes (1100–1600 m) grass species composition is balanced but plant cover of C3 species is greater. Of 31 genera in the whole area, 19 were C4. Only the genera Stipa (C3) and Aristida (C4) were present in all the six areas surveyed. The pattern of grass distribution shows high correlation with evapotranspiration and temperature parameters, but low correlation with rainfall. The relation between grass distribution and different climatic parameters is discussed.

Key words

GrassesPhotosynthetic typeDistributionClimateAltitudeArgentina

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. B. Cavagnaro
    • 1
  1. 1.Ecotisiologia VegetalIADIZA (Instituto Argentino de Invest. de Zonas Aridas)MendozaArgentina