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


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.


Tree alpha-diversity Amazonia terra firme 


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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

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