This study demonstrates the use of vegetation analysis in the selection of priority areas for conservation. The analysis is based on field data derived from narrow rectangular sample plots and includes information from the database of Paraguay’s Conservation Data Center. Ten 100‐m2 sample plots were laid out for each survey site. We compared three sites, Mbaracayú, Tarumá, and Parabel, all forests located in the ecoregion of Selva Central in eastern Paraguay. Subtropical and physiognomically similar, the sites are dominated by a single species, either Sorocea bonplandii or Actinostemon concolor, but differ in species richness. Vegetation analysis permitted us to calculate the total number of species, including liana species, the number of economic plants, and the number of rare, uncommon, and vulnerable species, and thus to quantify the conservation worthiness of the candidate sites. Our study pinpoints Mbaracayú as a mature, resource‐rich forest with the highest habitat and plant species diversity and several local endemics. We maintain that it is the area of Paraguay’s Selva Central most important for conservation.
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 1993
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