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Universidade de Brasília (2006)

Fitofisionomias do bioma Cerrado : síntese terminológica e relações florísticas

Walter, Bruno Machado Teles

Titre : Fitofisionomias do bioma Cerrado : síntese terminológica e relações florísticas

Auteur : Walter, Bruno Machado Teles

Université de soutenance : Universidade de Brasília

Grade : Doutorado em Ecologia 2006

The physiognomic vegetation of the Cerrado biome and its associated flora are analyzed in this study. This biome, which contains the richest savanna of the planet, is being the target of several biological investigations, such as the one that intended to identify and define structural aspects that characterize its vegetation. This study focus in the features of vegetation, caused by the flora, analyzing the contribution of those that intended to define its physiognomies. The analyses were carried on terminology, definitions, concepts and nomenclatural systems published, looking for problems that terminology and conceptual differences may represent for the biome conservation. The first of four chapters contextualized the Cerrado among the world’s savannas, analyzing the term savanna and its several interpretations. The conceptual discussion about savanna doesn’t possess merely academic interest, because its proper definition will influenciate vegetation conservation practices all over the planet. Different authors, in different parts of the world, impute differentiated meanings to the term, misleading readers about the type of studied vegetation, difficulting comparisons. In the second chapter the nomenclature used to characterize the biome vegetation is analyzed, including its continuous area, transitions and disjunctions with other biomes. Considering present and names used since the XVIII century it were compiled more than 774 terms and expressions (in conservative counting, 480 or 438 names) used in 450 bibliographical references. The interpretation of several authors’ and/or important works is commented, mentioning the main phytophysiognomic terms. Special attention was given to the oldest authors and references barely consulted by ecologists and botanists. The compiled names do not reach exact numbers (774 ? 480 ? 438 ?) due to the nomenclatural opening that several classification systems make possible. In practice, the numbers are still larger. Nevertheless, exactly because they are very high, numerous unnecessary redundancies are revealed, whose causes and consequences are analyzed. It is given an alert for possible consequences that this “sea of words” can entail in the conservation efforts of the Cerrado biome. In the third chapter, the approach was on botanical nomenclature and classification systems, analyzing names, numbers and cases on the Cerrado flora. Focusing on flowering plants and higher taxons (families, orders and classes), ten classification systems were compared, whose choice criteria was its proposition, adoption or influence in Brazil in the XX century, including current tendencies. Differences on authors interpretation where responsible for the high interval, whose numbers of families varied between 132 and 180. It is an interval of 48 families for the same group of 11.046 species. The differences among systems are analyzed concerning to the circumscription of the higher taxons, also discussing cases of genera, species and the problems that emerge in the construction of plant lists. Some sources of these problems are analyzed, leading to a discussion about rare and threatened species. The intention was to show practical problems that came from differences of taxonomic interpretation and its ecological consequences. The last chapter analyzed the distribution of the Cerrado biome floras concerning to different vegetation forms and phytophysiognomies. Based on the group of 11.046 species, 37 phytophysiognomies/environments were analyzed, relatively to the numbers of species and growth forms. The largest species number was reached by Cerrado sensu lato (6.223 species, 138 families), followed by forests (highlights for Gallery Forest) and Grasslands. The numbers of Cerrado sensu stricto (1.855 species, 102 families) surpassed all previous published lists. The growth forms occurrence in the phytophysiognomies-environments were analyzed and also the proportion of shrubs-herbaceous plants to the trees. This proportion increases exponentially from forest formations to grasslands, reaching, in the Campo Limpo, 131,1 shrubs and herbs species for each tree. Environments of wide concepts such as Cerrado in its broad sense, Forest or Grasslands, count for 5.022 species, suggesting physiognomic distribution excessively wide or incomplete. The vegetation types “Palmeiral”, Campo Rupestre (restricted sense) and Parque de Cerrado (Cerrado Parkland) lacks floristic studies. Only 6.024 species could be related to some of the eleven main phytophysiognomic types described by Ribeiro and Walter, of which 282 are referred as present on all three vegetation forms of the biome, forest, savanna and grassland. These 282 species represents the plants with larger capacity of physiognomic occupation in this biome. The analysis of the floras shows the need to continue feeding reliable data to the list of the Cerrado flora, indicating the long term studies that should be done so that we have a better and full knowledge on the biome flora. Even so, considering the idiosyncrasies of the botany and phytogeographic nomenclatures, it is not waited that this road would be straight, much less harmonious. Despite the reasoning for logical and rationality on classification procedures, and agreeing with some authors, nomenclature is not a rational discipline.

Mots clés : Cerrados Plantas Flora Savanas


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