, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 26–38

Notes on the vegetation of amazonia III. The terminology of amazonian forest types subject to inundation

  • Ghillean T. Prance

DOI: 10.2307/2806669

Cite this article as:
Prance, G.T. Brittonia (1979) 31: 26. doi:10.2307/2806669


The types of Amazonian forests subject to inundation can be organized into seven categories which are herewith named and described. This classification is intended to set in order the confusion of terminology used in the past. The types are: (1)seasonal várzea—forest flooded by regular annual cycles of white-water rivers; (2)seasonal igapó—forest flooded by regular annual cycles of black- and clear-water rivers; (3) mangrove—forests flooded twice daily by salt-water tides; (4)tidal várzea—forest flooded twice daily by fresh water backed up from tides; (5)floodplain forest—on low lying ground flooded by irregular rainfall, generally in upper reaches of rivers; (6)permanent white- water swamp forest; (7)permanent igapó—black-water forest. The first five types are periodically inundated and the last two are permanently waterlogged. This terminology is closer to that used by lim nologists by restricting the use ofigapó to forest inundated by black and clear water.

Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ghillean T. Prance
    • 1
  1. 1.New York Botanical GardenNY