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Distribution patterns of páramo plants in Ecuador

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We will analyse the geographical and vertical distributions of Ecuadorian high páramo plants. Lists of species were prepared for six Ecuadorian mountains, and floristic relationships among them were expressed by means of Sørensen's index of similarity. A mantel test was employed to analyse the pattern of geographical distribution of the species to see if the distance between the mountains was sufficient to explain the differences discovered. Altitudinal range and mean altitude of species occurrence were tested against the number of mountains from which the species were recorded using a Kruskal–Wallis nonparametric test. We found that distance as a single factor can not fully explain the pattern of floristic similarity shared by the mountains. Other important factors are involved. Altitudinal range of the species examined was positively correlated with their distribution in Ecuador. Species with a broad altitudinal occurrence were found on several mountains, whereas species with narrow altitudinal distribution were found on fewer mountains.

Keywords: Ecuadorian Andes; altitudinal range; floristic similarity; plant distribution; páramo

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1Department of Systematic Botany, Herbarium AAU, Universitetsparken Build. 137, Aarhus University, DK-8000 Aarhus C., Denmark and Missouri Botanical Garden, PO Box 299, St. Louis, Missouri 63166–0299, U.S.A.

Publication date: 1999-07-01

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