Plant Ecology and Evolution 154(2): 183-191, doi: 10.5091/plecevo.2021.1635
An overview of richness and distribution of mosses in Brazil
expand article infoEduardo T. Amorim, Luiz Menini Neto§, Andrea P. Luizi-Ponzo§
‡ Universidade de Brasília, Brasília, Brazil§ Programa de Pós-graduação em Ecologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Instituto de Botânica, São Pedro - Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil
Open Access

Background and aims – Mosses comprise avascular terrestrial plants whose relationship with other plant lineages is not yet fully understood. These plants have a worldwide distribution, but gaps in their distribution have not yet been clarified for Brazil. Based on a large database, compiled from different sources, we present an overview of the moss distribution in Brazil in order to assess the species richness in different areas, as well as the factors that interfere with this distribution.

Material and methods – The study area corresponds to the whole Brazilian territory. We collected data on moss occurrences using different online databases and bibliographies. The data were refined, keeping only the records with taxonomic identification of the species, using valid names and correct geographical coordinates We subsequently plotted the records on a map with a 1° × 1° grid pattern. To ascertain the representativeness of the grid, an analysis of estimated richness was carried out.

Key results – A total of 969 species of moss were surveyed, from 26 690 records obtained. The number of species per cell ranged from 1 to 242, and 394 cells were occupied for a total of approximately 1 300 cells. Moss richness in Brazil is subjected to varied sampling effort. The Atlantic Forest showed the greatest richness, both as a result of favourable environmental conditions as well as due to a greater sampling intensity. With the exception of a few localities, the Amazon domain had a low sampling and, consequently, a low richness.

Conclusions – The results show that the higher richness is observed in the southern and central parts of Brazil, and this is because of the occurrence of areas that have some type of protection (conservation units), environmental conditions related to high humidity, high elevations, and greater sampling effort.

biases, biodiversity gaps, Bryophyta, knowledge shortfalls, museum effect, sampling efforts


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