Vegetation Heterogeneity and Life-Strategy Diversity in the Flora of the Heterogeneous Landscape of Niznada, Oaxaca, Mexico

E.A. Pérez-Garcia, J. Meave, J.L. Villaseñor, J.A. Gallardo-Cruz, E.E. Lebrija Trejos

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42 Citations (Scopus)


We updated the floristic checklist of the Nizanda region, Isthmus of Tehuantepec (southern Mexico), characterized the occurring plant communities based on dominant species, and described the region’s flora according to life form, growth form, growth type, and growth habit spectra. Ten years of botanical exploration, along with surveys in 188 100-m2 samples from different vegetation types, provided the baseline floristic information. Ordination and classification analyses were performed to examine the degree of differentiation between communities. Geographical ranges of all species were used to assess biogeographical relationships of this flora. The inventory includes 920 species (553 genera, 124 families). More than one-third of the families were represented by a single species, whereas the 10 richest families had 43% of the species richness. Dendrograms showing plot classification at three taxonomic levels (species, genus and family) revealed savannah as the most strongly differentiated community amid seven vegetation types. Regarding growth forms, forbs and trees prevailed. Phanerophytes were the most common life form category, whereas herbs and woody plants were the dominant growth types. The largest richness for all taxonomic levels was recorded in the tropical dry forest. The expanded floristic knowledge gained for the Nizanda region provided better criteria to revise the classification scheme of its vegetation. Our preliminary biogeographical analysis illustrates the role of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec as a corridor for thermophilous floras between two oceanic watersheds, and as a natural distributional limit for several Mesoamerican plant species
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-161
JournalFolia Geobotanica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • plant diversity
  • southern mexico
  • forest
  • forms
  • gradient
  • physiognomy
  • tehuantepec
  • savannas
  • montane


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