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      The pattern of high plant diversity of Neotropical inselbergs: highlighting endemic, threatened and unique species

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          ABSTRACT Understanding how multiple drivers shape plant community diversity across environmental gradients is one of the most important issues in plant ecology and biodiversity conservation. We aimed to analyse plant community structure and diversity in four inselbergs in Espírito Santo State, Brazil. We evaluated species diversity, floristic composition and similarity, phytosociological structure, occurrence, and conservation status of rupicolous flora in the inselberg communities. We used field expeditions and plant inventory data from 370 sampling units. We estimated floristic similarity and compared diversity indexes among inselbergs. We observed marked differences in community structure and diversity among inselbergs, where the southern region had the highest number of taxa and higher values of diversity indices. There were also notable differences in floristic composition and phytosociological structure, with a decrease in similarity as geographical distance increased. This finding demonstrated the existence of differences in the patterns of dominance and vegetation cover along the latitudinal gradient, as well as differences in endemic, threatened, and exclusive species, and represents a first step toward establishing criteria for biodiversity conservation for inselbergs in Espírito Santo State.

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              Regular pattern formation in real ecosystems.

              Localized ecological interactions can generate striking large-scale spatial patterns in ecosystems through spatial self-organization. Possible mechanisms include oscillating consumer-resource interactions, localized disturbance-recovery processes and scale-dependent feedback. Despite abundant theoretical literature, studies revealing spatial self-organization in real ecosystems are limited. Recently, however, many examples of regular pattern formation have been discovered, supporting the importance of scale-dependent feedback. Here, we review these studies, showing regular pattern formation to be a general phenomenon rather than a peculiarity. We provide a conceptual framework explaining how scale-dependent feedback determines regular pattern formation in ecosystems. More empirical studies are needed to better understand regular pattern formation in ecosystems, and how this affects the response of ecosystems to global environmental change.

                Author and article information

                Acta Botanica Brasilica
                Acta Bot. Bras.
                Sociedade Botânica do Brasil (Belo Horizonte, BA, Brazil )
                December 2020
                : 34
                : 4
                : 645-661
                Viçosa Minas Gerais orgnameUniversidade Federal de Viçosa orgdiv1Departamento de Biologia Vegetal orgdiv2Laboratório de Ecologia e Evolução de Plantas Brazil
                São Mateus Espírito Santo orgnameUniversidade Federal do Espírito Santo orgdiv1Departamento de Ciências Agrárias e Biológicas orgdiv2Laboratório de Ecologia de Restinga e Mata Atlântica Brazil
                Alegre Espírito Santo orgnameUniversidade Federal do Espírito Santo orgdiv1Departamento de Biologia Brazil
                Viçosa Minas Gerais orgnameUniversidade Federal de Viçosa orgdiv1Departamento de Engenharia Florestal orgdiv2Laboratório de Restauração Florestal Brazil
                S0102-33062020000400645 S0102-3306(20)03400400645

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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