The role of topography, climate, soil and the surrounding matrix in the distribution of Veredas wetlands in central Brazil

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Wetlands Ecology and Management


Wetlands are among the most important ecosystems in the world in terms of endemic biodiversity, carbon storage and hydrological process. Veredas wetlands are distributed across the Brazilian savanna (i.e. Cerrado biome) and are permanently protected areas. Veredas wetlands have a hydromorphic soil, providing water to the main rivers of central Brazil and allowing the occurrence of several endemic species of plants and animals. Although recent studies on biotic and abiotic characteristics have been conducted in several areas of Veredas, the studies are local and there is a lack of information about large-scale patterns. Here we used remote sensing data to explore the role of climate, soil, topography and surrounding matrix explaining Veredas occurrence in the Triângulo Mineiro and Alto Paranaíba (TMAP), a mesoregion of the State of Minas Gerais, Southeastern Brazil. Veredas were more frequent in the western region of TMAP, in areas with lower altitudes, temperature and precipitation seasonality, soil cation exchange capacity, silt and sand content, and slope. Moreover, farming was the most frequent land use in areas surrounding Veredas. Veredas are associated with recharging of the water table and water flow that maintains rivers in the Upper Paraná River water basin. We trust the present assessment will be of help for the development of conservation strategies and biodiversity studies. Graphical abstract: Research questions, data processing, statistical analysis and illustration of the outputs generated.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

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Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior



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