Life-form spectra of quartzite and itabirite rocky outcrop sites, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Vascular species and their respective life-forms and coverage were recorded in a Brazilian quartzite and itabirite rocky outcrop site at Serra de Ouro Preto, producing the floristic, frequency and vegetational spectra. Three habitats in both lithologies were defined by geomorphology as: 1) Sloped areas near the mountain summit, with grasslands; 2) Plateaus in the middle of the slope, with grasslands; and 3) Lower and/or concave parts of the slopes, with woody savannas. The life-forms followed
... fe-forms followed Raunkiaer's System. We aimed to answer the following questions: Do quartzite and itabirite rocky outcrops have different biological spectra? Are the biological spectra different in the geomorphologic habitats? Do the floristic, vegetational and frequency spectra differ from one another? What spectrum stacks up to a rocky outcrop physiognomy description? The results portrayed that: a) the most represented life-forms were the phanerophytes and hemicryptophytes; b) the floristic and frequency spectra did not differ from each other, but both differed from the vegetational one; c) all the floristic spectra were similar, but there were significant differences in the frequency and vegetational spectra among the lithology and geomorphology habitats; d) higher phanerophyte and lesser hemicryptophyte coverages were found in the itabirite areas and also in the lower or concave parts of the slopes of both lithologies; and e) the vegetational spectrum was more efficient for the studied rocky outcrop comparison. Relationships between the environmental aspects and life-form spectra are discussed. This study will help advance the development of restoration projects for these areas by adding knowledge of their flora composition, structure and function.