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Title: Is there environmental differentiation in the Quercusdominated forests of west-central Mexico?
Author: Olvera-Vargas, M.
Figueroa-Rangel, B.L.
Vazquez-Lopez, J.M.
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: Detailed information on 38 species and 26 environmental variables was recorded from a network of 86 permanent plots across a geographical range of 10 km, in order to determine the patterns of floristic composition in Quercus-dominated forests; to elucidate environmental differentiation in such forests; and to determine whether species are partitioning their environment. To examine likely patterns of floristic composition, a data matrix expressed as relative volume + relative density was used to run non-metric multidimensional scaling. Canonical correspondence analysis extracted the environmental variation that best correlates with the observed patterns of floristic composition. Our results indicate that congeneric Quercus individuals represent the largest proportion of the species pool in the study plots. They coexist with other species having similar ecological requirements in at least three distinct floristic groups. Examination of the two largest groups and their species compositions reveals that one floristic gradient runs across the most xeric zone of the study area, and the second major floristic gradient runs across a mesic zone. The most important environmental variable explaining the observed patterns of floristic composition is altitude, although partial canonical correspondence analysis suggests that micro-habitat heterogeneity (catena position and canopy maturity) was most significant. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010.
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