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Soil-vegetation relationships on a banded ironstone 'island', Carajás Plateau, Brazilian Eastern Amazonia

Nunes, J.A., Schaefer, C.E.G.R., Ferreira Júnior, W.G., Neri, A.V., Correa, G.R. and Enright, N.J. (2015) Soil-vegetation relationships on a banded ironstone 'island', Carajás Plateau, Brazilian Eastern Amazonia. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, 87 (4). pp. 2097-2110.

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Vegetation and soil properties of an iron-rich canga (laterite) island on the largest outcrop of banded-iron formation in Serra de Carajás (eastern Amazonia, Brazil) were studied along a topographic gradient (738- 762 m asl), and analyzed to test the hypothesis that soil chemical and physical attributes play a key role in the structure and floristic composition of these plant communities. Soil and vegetation were sampled in eight replicate plots within each of the four vegetation types. Surface (0-10 cm) soil samples from each plot were analyzed for basic cations, N, P and plant species density for all species was recorded. CCA ordination analysis showed a strong separation between forest and non-forest sites on the first axis, and between herbaceous and shrubby campo rupestre on the second axis. The four vegetation types shared few plant species, which was attributed to their distinctive soil environments and filtering of their constituent species by chemical, physical and hydrological constraints. Thus, we can infer that Edaphic (pedological) factors are crucial in explaining the types and distributions of campo rupestre vegetation associated with ferruginous ironstone uplands (Canga) in Carajás, eastern Amazonia, therefore the soil properties are the main drivers of vegetation composition and structure on these ironstone islands.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Academia Brasileira de Ciencias
Copyright: © 2015 Academia Brasileira de Ciencias.
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