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Henrik Balslev

Tropical rainforest palm communities in Madre de Dios in Amazonian Peru

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We studied palm communities, in particular species-richness and -abundance, in the tropical rainforests in southeastern Peru in 54 transects (5×500m) covering an area of 13,5 hectares in flood plain, terra firme, terrace and premontane hills. We found 42 palm species in the transects and we found Bactris riparia very close to the transects giving a total of 43 species in 18 genera. Terra firme forest had the highest species richness (38 species) followed by floodplain and premontane hills with 27 species and terrace forests with 26 species. The highest palm abundances were found in premontane hill forest which had 3243 palms per hectare and terra firme forest which had 2968 palms per hectare. The floodplain forests were intermediate in palm abundance with 2647 and the terrace forests had the lowest abundance with 1709 palms per hectare. Intermediate sized palms were the most common being represented by 18 species, while large palms were represented with 16 species. There were only eight species of small palms of which one was acaulecent. Only one species of liana palm was registered. Of the 42 species observed in the 54 transects 20 were cespitose, 21 solitary and two had colonial growth. Seven species were found 40–320 km outside their previously known range.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRevista Peruana de Biologia
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • Abundance of palms, Arecaceae, species richness, growth form, community structure

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