Natural channeling in riverine forests determines variations in their floristic composition, structure, and land use in southern Brazil

  • Marcelo Callegari ScipioniEmail author
  • Fabrício de Araújo Pedron
  • Solon Jonas Longhi
  • Franklin Galvão
  • Jean Carlos Budke
  • Paulo Renato Schneider
Original Paper


Hydrological processes in riparian forests affect their geomorphology and drainage, and define their structure. Interactions among many environmental variables and the tree community in continuous riverine forests affect their formation and add to their complexity, making our understanding of these habitats particularly challenging. We evaluated the tree species diversity and richness in relation to relief and flooding regimes in the watershed of a riparian forest in southern Brazil. The environments of the topographic gradients were classified according to relief and soil. Canonical correspondence analysis and indicator species analysis were used for the environmental classification. A detailed soil survey showed that the organic matter content and pH are quite distinct among the environmental categories. Frequent flooding of low intensity on the floodplain was associated with incipient and shallow channels, greater frequency of livestock encroachment, and lower frequency of shade-tolerant species dominance in the deep relief of the valleys and the headwaters. We conclude that there is a dynamic flow of species migration between the flooded and non-flooded environments in small channels and that the narrow deep channels in the floodplain with less frequent and intense flooding favor an expansion of the upland tree species into riparian areas, with channel shape and depth important variables in the impact of cattle encroachment on vegetation. The greatest tree diversity was found in the ravine habitats in the intermediate landscapes.


Topographic gradient Fine spatial scale Soil properties Hydrology 


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Copyright information

© International Consortium of Landscape and Ecological Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Agricultura, Biodiversidade e Florestas, Centro de Ciências RuraisUniversidade Federal de Santa CatarinaCuritibanosBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade Federal de Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil
  3. 3.Universidade Federal do ParanáCuritibaBrazil
  4. 4.Universidade Regional Integrada do Alto Uruguai e das MissõesErechimBrazil

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