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Ecología austral

On-line version ISSN 1667-782X


QUINTEROS, Pamela; HANZEN, Nidia  and  KUTSCHKER, Adriana. Composition and diversity of the understory of ñire (Nothofagus antarctica) forests in relation to forest structure. Ecol. austral [online]. 2010, vol.20, n.3, pp.225-234. ISSN 1667-782X.

We describe the species composition and diversity of the understory of Nothofagus antarctica (ñire) forest depending on the forest structure. The study was conducted in the northwest of Chubut, where the forest was classified into 10 forest types, taking into account the forest height and the canopy cover. On the basis of vegetation inventory, we studied the differences among forest types in terms of species richness, diversity, dominance and understory cover (total and by origin and life form). We recorded 105 species (73% native and 27% exotic) distributed in 43 families. In all the structures analyzed high coverage of herbaceous species was recorded. In the forest type with the highest tree-height the highest coverage were recorded, composed of native species typical of the forest under dense canopies, and of exotic species, typical of disturbed environments, in open forests. In the forest type with the lowest tree-height, where species of the forest, of disturbed environments, and of the steppe coexist, there was greater diversity and species richness.

Keywords : Cover; Floristic composition; Ñirantal; Patagonia; Forest types.

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