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Tropical Biology Section

Kelloff, Carol L. [1], Funk, Vicki A [1].

Phytogeography of Kaieteur Falls, Potaro Plateau, Guyana: Floral Distributions and Affinities..

The plant diversity of one location on the Guiana Shield, Kaieteur National Park in Guyana, is used to examine various hypothetical origins of the flora and to evaluate which may best explains the current plant distributions. Kaieteur National Park is located on eastern edge of the Potaro Plateau in central Guyana, South America. The species examined have distributions that vary from local to global. The generalized distributions of the families, genera, and species known from Kaieteur were examined using distributions compiled from in the literature. Data on distribution, elevation, and habitat were gathered from 131 flowering plant families, 517 genera, and 1227 species. These represent all the plant taxa that are currently known to occur in the area of the original (19.4 square km) Kaieteur National Park. Families tend to have cosmopolitan or pantropical distribution, genera are mostly neotropical, and at the species level, most are restricted to the Guiana Shield (ca. 40%), northern South America (69%) or neotropical (96%) in distribution, each level inclusive of the previous. The flora at the study site in Kaieteur National Park has its strongest affinity with the Guiana Shield; 42.1% of the species have a distribution that corresponds with the Shield or is more restricted within the Shield. There is a distinct flora on the Guiana Shield and its affinities lie with the flora of northern South American and beyond that, the neotropics. The flora is not closely affiliated with the floras of the Brazilian Shield, the Amazon Basin, the Andes, the eastern coastal forests of Brazil, southern South America, or Africa as has been previous suggested.

Related Links:
Biological Diversity of the Guiana Shield Program

1 - Smithsonian Institution, Department of Botany, MRC166, National Museum of Natural History, P.O. Box 37012, Washington, DC, 20013-7012, USA

plant distribution
flora affinities
Guiana Shield

Presentation Type: Paper
Session: 8-2
Location: Peruvian (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2004
Time: 8:45 AM
Abstract ID:563

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