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Folia Geobotanica

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 363–382 | Cite as

Gradients of continentality and moisture in South Patagonian ombrotrophic peatland vegetation

  • Till Kleinebecker
  • Norbert Hölzel
  • Andreas Vogel
Article

Abstract

This study presents the analysis of 381 phytosociological relevés describing predominantly ombrotrophic South Patagonian lowland peatland vegetation along a gradient of increasing continentality. Numerical methods such as cluster analysis and detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) were carried out to explore the data set. Cluster analysis resulted in nine vegetation types that were also distinctly separated in DCA ordination. The major floristic coenocline along the first DCA axis reflected a gradient of continentality ranging from pacific blanket bogs dominated by cushion plants toSphagnum-dominated continental raised bogs. Increasing continentality along the first axis was parallel with decreasing peat decomposition and increasing peat depth and acidity. In contrast, floristic variation along the second DCA axis represented a water level gradient.

The typical sequence of vegetation types along the hollow-hummock moisture gradient that is well established for north hemispherical peatlands could also be observed inSphagnum-dominated South Patagonian raised bogs with a surprising similarity in floristic and structural features. Concerning the gradient of continentality significant differences in comparison with the northern hemisphere could be established. Most obvious was the dominance of cushion building plants (e.g.Astelia pumila, Donatia fascicularis) in South Patagonian oceanic peatlands, whereas this life form is totally absent from the northern hemisphere. Similar to the continentalSphagnum bogs the cushion plant vegetation of hyperoceanic peatlands exhibited a clear separation along the moisture gradient.

Keywords

Blanket bog Climatic gradient Cluster analysis Cushion bog DCA Mire Raised bog 

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Copyright information

© Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Till Kleinebecker
    • 1
  • Norbert Hölzel
    • 1
  • Andreas Vogel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Landscape EcologyUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany

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