Definition of reference ecosystems and succession trajectories from vegetation inventories as a tool for ecological restoration in Bogotá (Colombia)

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Diego Mauricio, Cabrera Amaya

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Large unaltered remnants of wetlands and forests are virtually non-existent today in Bogotá and its surroundings. Hence, in order to define theoretical reference ecosystems, I made 366 vegetation plots (50-100 m2) on wetlands, and exotic and native grasslands, scrublands and forests (between 2500 3700 m a.s.l.), and run a Neighbor joining similarity analysis applied to species cover to compare them. I run another similarity analysis with Ward’s method using structure variables to find possible states of structural complexity in the resulting groups of the first analysis, and therefore possible successional trajectories of them. This methodology assumes a space-for-time substitution approach to analyze the ecological succession. I defined 15 floristic groups (reference ecosystems) and identified their indicator species (Fig1A). I  found seven different states of structural development, 4 for woody vegetation and 2-3 for herbaceous vegetation (Fig1B). I made a catalog with the features of each reference ecosystem for each state of development (average, maximum and minimum values): 1) Floristic (richness, diversity, composition). 2) Structure (bare soil, basal area, total cover and layer cover, number of individuals). 3) Ecology (epiphytism, natural regeneration). These results represent a novel input for future restoration plans at the ecosystem or landscape scale in the region because include a wide range of ecosystems, can serve as a guide to design strategies and set goals, but at the same time they can work as indicators of the success of the restoration actions implemented or as null hypothesis for testing validity of the reference ecosystems and successional trajectories proposed.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

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