Influence of a topographic gradient on the occurrence, abundance and composition of nine species of palms (Arecaceae) in the Central Amazon

Stela Valenti Raupp, Renato Cintra


The study was conducted at the Adolpho Ducke Forest Reserve. The occurrence and abundance of the adult palms Attalea attaleoides (Barb. Rodr.) W Boer, A. microcarpa Mart., Euterpe precatoria Mart., Geonoma aspidiifolia Spruce, Iriartella setigera (Mart.) H. Wendl, Oenocarpus bacaba Mart., O. bataua Mart., O. minor Mart., Socratea exorrhiza (Mart.) H. Wendl were observed in 40 50 x 50 m plots and the seedlings in two 50 x 2 m plots located inside the 40 plots demarcated to register the adults. The topographical gradient was divided into swamp valley, slope and plateau based on the altitudes and characteristics of these environments. Occurrence and abundance data were used as dependent variables in the models of Analysis of Variance to verify differences in the topographical gradient. Changes in species composition were evaluated using multivariate analysis of ordination. The distribution and abundance of the seedling and adult phases varied with the topographical gradient. The variation in species composition in different topographic levels probably occurs due to the different responses of the species to the variation in forest heterogeneity, produced by the spatial variation of the structural components of the forest.

Key words: palms, Central Amazon, topography, distribution, “Terra Firme” forest.

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