Original paper

Montane Forests in northeast Brazil: a phytogeographical approach

Rodal, Maria; Jesus Nogueira,

Abstract

Montane Forests (MF) in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil, situated between 600 and 1100 m, exhibit a fragmented distribution. In order to detect physiognomic patterns in these forests, distributions of individual height and basal area were compared, using the same inclusion criteria and sample area in three different surveys, two in MF and one in a lowland forest. A TWINSPAN analysis was applied to the presence/absence of 454 woody species (angiosperms) identified in 13 quantitative plant surveys in order to assess the floristic relationship between different MF. The morphology and composition of the plants in MF vary in response to abiotic factors. Those forests situated closer to the Atlantic Coast have a flora and physiognomy (evergreen) similar to that encountered in the humid and sub-humid lowlands. Montane Forests located in semi-arid regions are seasonal, have fewer species, are not as tall as those located in humid/subhumid regions and are more closely related to seasonal plant formations.

Keywords

phytogeographynortheastern brazilmontane forestsemi-arid