B1.4 Distribution of vascular plant structures on a large scale: Altitudinal gradient of life-form and species diversity [funded by Ri 370/13-2]


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Abstract:

Distribution of vascular plant structures on a large scale: Altitudinal gradient of life-form and species diversity

Description:

After having conducted climatic and plant-geographical studies in the Cordillera Real in southern Ecuador since 10 years, the applicant and two staff members would like to carry out a systematic evaluation of plant diversity along an altitudinal gradient between 1,000 and 3,300 m. On transects of equal size (2x50 m, method of Gentry) patterns of plant species coverage, life-forms, features of leaf-size and leaf-consistency will be recorded and beta-turnover rates calculated. Taxonomic and structural changes will be correlated with the available medium-term climate data and soil parameters. Measurements of leaf area (LAI) and plant area index (PAI) questioned by the modelling project partners supplement this program in order to allow an analysis and simulation of current, past, and future climate dynamics and their relevance for biodiversity and land use changes. Spatial delimitation of plant formation classes and some of the aforementioned parameters will be derived from high resolution multispectral satellite images (Quickbird). As a complementary service for most of the project members the maintenance of eight present and two additional weather stations will be continued by the applicant┬┤s working group (including data analysis and elaboration).


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