Species tolerance degree to soil conditions shaping plant communities

  • Vinícius Andrade MaiaEmail author
  • Cléber Rodrigo de Souza
  • Rubens Manoel dos Santos


Understanding vegetation-environment relationships enables perceiving past and present patterns and to predict responses to future scenarios, thereby being useful for conservation and understanding evolutionary processes. In this context, the objective of our study was to test the hypothesis that niche processes at local scales (< 1 km2) are significantly expressive in plant communities structuring. For this, we selected the more representative and widely distributed sampled species, and then modelled their representativeness as a function of edaphic variables. The data were obtained in four fragments of seasonal semi-deciduous forests located in a transition area between the Atlantic and Cerrado biogeographic domains, Brazil. A total of 92 plots with 63 of 400 m2 and 29 of 300 m2 were randomly distributed in the fragments. Individuals that reached the inclusion criterion (circumference at breast height ≥ 15.7 cm) in each plot were measured and identified and soil samples were also collected. Then, we calculated the relative abundance and relative basal area in each plot. All species showed significant relationships with the soil variables, as their representativeness showed to be correlated (positively and/or negatively) with at least one restrictive fertility or texture condition. Therefore, the results confirm the tested hypothesis, evidencing the niche processing role in community structuring through the species tolerance degree to soil conditions.


Vegetation Neotropical Niche Ecotone Phosphorus Aluminium Soil organic matter 



The authors wish to thank the Federal University of Lavras (UFLA), Foundation for the Support to the Researches in Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG), the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), and the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) for all the support.

Supplementary material

12224_2019_9341_MOESM1_ESM.docx (24 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 23 kb)


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Copyright information

© Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Forest Sciences DepartmentFederal University of LavrasLavrasBrazil

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