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The Vegetation of Robinson Crusoe Island (Isla Masatierra), Juan Fernandez Archipelago, Chile

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Title: The Vegetation of Robinson Crusoe Island (Isla Masatierra), Juan Fernandez Archipelago, Chile
Authors: Greimler, Josef
Lopez S, Patricio
Stuessy, Tod F.
Dirnbock, Thomas
Issue Date: Jul 2002
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Greimler J, Lopez S P, Stuessy TF, Dirnbock T. 2002. The vegetation of Robinson Crusoe Island (Isla Masatierra), Juan Fernandez Archipelago, Chile. Pac Sci 56(3): 263-284.
Abstract: Robinson Crusoe Island of the Juan Fernandez Archipelago, as is the
case with many oceanic islands, has experienced strong human disturbances
through exploitation of resources and introduction of alien biota. To understand
these impacts and for purposes of diversity and resource management, an accurate
assessment of the composition and structure of plant communities was
made. We analyzed the vegetation with 106 releves (vegetation records) and
subsequent Twinspan ordination and produced a detailed colored map at
1: 30,000. The resultant map units are (1) endemic upper montane forest, (2)
endemic lower montane forest, (3) Ugni molinae shrubland, (4) Rubus ulmifoliusAristotelia
chilensis shrubland, (5) fern assemblages, (6) Libertia chilensis assemblage,
(7) Acaena argentea assemblage, (8) native grassland, (9) weed assemblages,
(10) tall ruderals, and (11) cultivated Eucalyptus, Cupressus, and Pinus. Mosaic
patterns consisting of several communities are recognized as mixed units: (12)
combined upper and lower montane endemic forest with aliens, (13) scattered
native vegetation among rocks at higher elevations, (14) scattered grassland and
weeds among rocks at lower elevations, and (15) grassland with Acaena argentea.
Two categories are included that are not vegetation units: (16) rocks and eroded
areas, and (17) settlement and airfield. Endemic forests at lower elevations and
in drier zones of the island are under strong pressure from three woody species,
Aristotelia chilensis, Rubus ulmifolius, and Ugni molinae. The latter invades native
forests by ascending dry slopes and ridges. It successfully outcompetes endemic
taxa, including its congener Ugni selkirkii. The aggressive herb Acaena argentea
severely threatens to overtake native grassland.
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 56, Number 3, 2002

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