Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 21–28 | Cite as

High tree alpha-diversity in Amazonian Ecuador

  • Renato Valencia
  • Henrik Balslev
  • Guillermo Paz Y Miño C
Papers

Abstract

In a 1 ha square plot of terra firme forest at 260 m elevation in Amazonian Ecuador, all trees with diameter at breast height (dbh) ≥5 cm were studied. There were 1561 individuals, 473 species, 187 genera and 54 families. Of these, 693 individuals, 307 species, 138 genera and 46 families had a dbh ≥10 cm. This is the highest number of tree species ever recorded for a tropical rain forest sample of this size. In both dbh classes, the most species-rich families were: Fabaceae sensu lato (including Mimosaceae and Caesalpiniaceae), Lauraceae and Sapotaceae; the most species-rich genera, were Pouteria, Inga and Protium. The vertical space was partitioned among species: 166 species were found only in the 5–10 dbh cm class and were mostly sub-canopy treelets, and 307 species with dbh ≥10 cm were mostly large canopy trees.

Keywords

Tree alpha-diversity Amazonia terra firme 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Balslev, H., Luteyn, J., Øllgaard, B. and Holm-Nielsen, L.B. (1987) Composition and structure of adjacent unflooded and floodplain forest in amazonian Ecuador. Opera Botanica 92, 37–57.Google Scholar
  2. Boom, B. (1986) A forest inventory in Amazonian Bolivia. Biotropica 18, 287–94.Google Scholar
  3. Campbell, D.G., Daly, D.C., Prance, G.T. and Maciel, U.N. (1986) Quantitative ecological inventory of terra firme and varzea tropical forest on the Rio Xingú, Brazilian Amazon. Brittonia 38, 369–93.Google Scholar
  4. Christensen, H. and Balslev, H. (In preparation) Woody understorey is the main component of the alpha-diversity in a rainforest of Amazonian Ecuador.Google Scholar
  5. Faber-Langendoen, D. and Gentry, A. (1991) The structure and diversity of rain forests at Bajo Calima, Chocó region, western Colombia. Biotropica 23, 2–11.Google Scholar
  6. Gentry, A. (1982) Patterns of neotropical plants species diversity. Evol. Biol. 15, 1–18.Google Scholar
  7. Gentry, A. (1988a) Changes in plant community diversity and floristic composition on environmental and geographical gradients. Ann. Missouri Botanical Garden 75, 1–34.Google Scholar
  8. Gentry, A. (1988b) Tree species richness of upper Amazonian forest. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA. 85, 156–9.Google Scholar
  9. Gentry, A. and Terborgh, J. (1990) Composition and dynamics of the Cocha Cashu “mature” floodplain forest. In Four neotropical rainforests (A.Gentry, ed.) pp. 542–64. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Gentry, A. and Ortiz, R. (1993) Patrones de composición florística en la Amazonia Peruana. In Amazonia Peruana—vegetación húmeda tropical en el llano subandino (R.Kalliola, M.Puhakka and W.Danjoy, eds) pp. 155–66. Jyväskylä: Paut and Onern.Google Scholar
  11. Haugbjerg Nielsen, I. (1989) Vasculaere epifyter i tropisk regnskov. 127 pp. Unpublished Cand. Scient. Thesis, Aahus University.Google Scholar
  12. Korning, J., Thomsen, K. and Øllgaard, B. (1991) Composition and structure of a species rich Amazonian rain forest obtained by two different sample methods. Nordic J. Bot. 11, 103–10.Google Scholar
  13. Neill, D. and Palacios, W. (1989) Arboles de la Amazonía ecuatoriana. Lista preliminar de especies. Quito: Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería.Google Scholar
  14. Neill, D., Palacios, W., Cerón, C. and Mejía, L. (In preparation) Composition and structure of tropical rain forest in the upper Río Napo, Amazonian Ecuador: Diversity and edaphic differentiation.Google Scholar
  15. Parsons, R. and Cameron, D. (1974) Maximum plant species diversity in terrestrial communities. Biotropica 6, 202–203.Google Scholar
  16. Paz y Miño, G., Balslev, H. and Valencia, R. (1991) Aspectos etnobotánicos de las lianas utilizadas por los indígenas Siona-Secoya del Ecuador. In Las plantas y el hombre (M.Ríos and H.B.Pedersen, eds) pp. 105–18. Quito: Ediciones Abya-yala.Google Scholar
  17. Paz y Miño, G. (1989) Lista anotada de algunas especies de aves communes en la Reserva de Producción Faunística Cuyabeno, Amazonía del Ecuador. Serie Monográfica de la Corporación Ornitológica del Ecuador 1, 1–18.Google Scholar
  18. Pires, J.M., Dobzhansky, Th. and Black, G.A. (1953) An estimate of the number of species of trees in an Amazonian forest community. Bot. Gazette 114, 467–77.Google Scholar
  19. Poulsen, A. and Balslev, H. (1991). Abundance and cover of ground herbs in an Amazonian rain forest. J. Veg. Sci. 2, 315–22.Google Scholar
  20. Renner, S.S., Balslev, H. and Holm-Nielsen, L.B. (1990) Flowering plants of Amazonian Ecuador — a checklist. AAU Reports 24, 1–241.Google Scholar
  21. Richards, P.W. (1969) Speciation in the tropical rain forest and the concept of the niche. Biol. J. Linnean Soc. 1, 149–53.Google Scholar
  22. Ruokolainen, K. and Tuomisto, H. (1993). La vegetación de terrenos no inundables (tierra firme) en la selva baja de la Amazonia Peruana. In Amazonía Peruana—vegetación húmeda tropical en el llano subandino (R.Kalliola, M.Puhakka and W.Danjoy, eds) pp. 139–53. Jyväskylä: Paut and Onern.Google Scholar
  23. Ulloa, R. (1988) Estudio sinecológico de primates en la Reserva de Producción Faunística Cuyabeno, Amazonia ecuatoriana. 179 pp. Unpublished Licenciado thesis, P. Universidad Católica, Quito.Google Scholar
  24. Whitmore, T.C., Peralta, R. and Brown, K. (1985) Total species count in a Coasta Rican tropical rain forest. J. Trop. Ecol. 1, 375–8.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renato Valencia
    • 1
  • Henrik Balslev
    • 1
  • Guillermo Paz Y Miño C
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Systematic Botany HerbariumAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  2. 2.Departamento de BiologíaHerbario QCA, P. Universidad Católica del EcuadorQuitoEcuador

Personalised recommendations