Plant Diversity of Natural Grasslands of Butia odorata (Barb. Rodr.) Noblick Palm Groves in Uruguay
Keywords:butiá, campos, plant genetic resources, ecosystem services
This research was conducted to characterize plant diversity of the natural campo in the palm grove of Castillos (Rocha, Uruguay), to identify botanical composition differences inside and outside the palm grove, to determinate the species that discriminate the two environments, and to recognize the potential of genetic resources and environmental services. Using the square point sampling method in two different strategies (eight long transects and 40 short transects) the presence of 70 taxons was determined. The Poaceae family represented the 57,1 % of the taxons, mainly perennial, with a C4/C3 ratio of 1.6. The cluster and principal component analysis showed consistent differences between the floral composition in the herbaceous stratum of the campo with and without palm trees. These differences can be attributed to species adaptation to factors like shading and higher soil moisture; among the main differential: Stenotaphrum secundatum, Pratia hederacea, Juncus spp., Hydrocotyle bonariensis, Paspalum urvillei, Paspalum proliferum y Plantago sp. The palm grove offers direct use goods like forage, shade and shelter for cattle, honey production and active recreation. We also identify an important group of plant genetic resources for forage, medicinal and ornamental use.
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