Structure, composition and diversity of deciduous forest of Cerro Verde, (Oaxaca), Mexico.
AbstractIn this study we describe the structure, floristic composition, and diversity of the tropical dry forest established on the Cerro Verde (Verde Hill), located at Nizanda (Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico). We censused woody plants with DBH Ɛ 1 cm (upper stratum) present in 30 100-m2 plots, and in five 4-m2 subplots within each of them, those plants with height > 30 cm but < 1 cm DBH (lower stratum). A total of 194 species belonging to 52 families were recorded. Species richness was identical in both strata (145 species), each contributing exclusively with ca. 25% of total recorded richness. Leguminosae was the most speciose family (27), followed by Asteraceae (20) and Euphorbiaceae (18). The most frequent species were Bursera simaruba + B. aff. cinerea (not distinguished in the field), Euphorbia schlechtendalii, Pilosocereus collinsii and Capparis verrucosa. Average richness by plot was 30 species. Mean values of indices based on species richness and abundances (Berger-Parker = 0.20; Simpson = 0.09; Fisher’s[= 9.47; Shannon = 2.78; eveness = 0.82) indicated a high diversity and consequently a low dominance in this forest. Extrapolated values showed a total (upper + lower strata) density of 23,950 ind. ha-1 (830 ind. ha-1 with DBH Ɛ 10 cm), a forest cover of 446.7%, and a basal area of 53 m2 ha-1. Mean height of those individuals accounting for 10% of the highest trees by plot was 9.1 m. Tropical dry forest structure at Cerro Verde is comparable to other Mexican communities within the seasonally dry tropical region and indicates a good conservation status. This feature, together with its particular floristic composition, makes of this area a high priority site which requires inclusion in a formal conservation scheme.
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