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Circumscribing campo rupestre – megadiverse Brazilian rocky montane savanas

Circumscribing campo rupestre – megadiverse Brazilian rocky montane savanas Currently campo rupestre (CR) is a name accepted and used internationally by botanists, zoologists, and other naturalists, usually applied to a very specific ecosystem, despite the lack of a consensual published circumscription. We present a tentative geographic circumscription of the term, combining data on climate, geology, geomorphology, soil, flora, fauna and vegetation. The circumscription of campo rupestre proposed herein is based on the following premises: (1) the classification of vegetation is not an exact science, and it is difficult to attain a high degree of consensus to the circumscription of vegetation names; (2) despite this, vegetation classification is useful for conservation and management. It is thus desirable to circumscribe vegetation types with the greatest attainable precision; (3) there is a need to preserve all montane and rocky vegetation types, regardless of classification, biome, etc; (4) the CRs are formed by a complex mosaic of vegetation types including rock-dwelling, psammophilous, aquatic, epiphytic, and penumbral plant communities. Campos rupestres stricto sensu are a Neotropical, azonal vegetation complex endemic to Brazil, forming a mosaic of rocky mountaintop “archipelagos” inserted within a matrix of zonal vegetation, mainly in the Cerrado and Caatinga provinces of the Brazilian Shield (southeastern, northeastern and central-western regions), occurring mainly above 900 m asl. up to altitudes exceeding 2000 m, having measured annual precipitation between 800 and 1500 mm, and an arid season of two to five months. Keywords: rocky savana, montane savana, rock-dwelling vegetation, biogeographic elements, vegetation classification, Neotropics. Circunscrevendo campo rupestre – savanas montanas rochosas megadiversas do Brasil Resumo Atualmente campo rupestre (CR) é um termo aceito e internacionalmente usado por botânicos, zoólogos e outros naturalistas, geralmente aplicado a um ecossistema muito específico apesar de não haver uma circunscrição de consenso. Nós apresentamos uma ciscunscrição geográfica tentativa do termo, combinando dados de clima, geologia, geomorfologia, solo, flora, fauna e vegetação. A circunscrição de campo rupestre aqui proposta se baseia nas seguintes premissas: (1) a classificação da vegetação não é uma ciência exata e é difícil atingir um alto grau de consenso sobre a circunscrição de nomes de vegetação; (2) apesar disto, a classificação da vegetação é útil para conservação e manejo. Assim é desejável descrever os tipos de vegetação com a maior precisão tangível; exista a necessidade de se preservar todos os tipos de vegetação montanos e rochosos, independentemente de sua classificação, bioma, etc. (4) os CRs são formados por um complexo mosaico de tipos de vegetação incluindo comunidades sobre rocha, psamíóilas, aquáticas, epífitas e penumbrais. Os campos rupestres stricto sensu são um complexo de vegetação endêmico ao Brasil, azonal, Neotropical, inserido numa matriz de vegetação zonal, sobretudo nas províncias do Cerrado e da Caatinga do Escudo do Brasil (regiões Sudeste, Nordeste e Centro_Oeste), ocorrendo principalmente acima de 900 m de altitude, até altitudes superiores a 2000 m, tendo uma precipitação anual mensurada entre 800 e 1500 mm, e uma estação árida de dois a cinco meses. Palavras-chave: savana pedregosa, savana montana, vegetação sobre rocha, elementos biogeográficos, classificação da vegetação, Neotrópico. Braz. J. Biol., 2014, vol. 74, no. 2, p. 355-362 355 355 Alves, RJV. et al. in the states of Minas Gerais and Bahia, which together 1. Introduction harbour over 90% of the CRs, much of the available data Since the early 1990s, the importance of mountains is from those states, while the characteristics of other has been gaining broader international recognition within CRs (e.g. from. Goiás and Tocantins) are poorly known. the framework of the Convention o Biological Diversity (Messerli and Ives, 1997). In Brazil, this recognition by the 1. Premises State arrived with some delay (Martinelli, 2007). Historically, Brazilian mountaintop vegetation with prevalent herbaceous Our contribution to the circumscription of campo and subshrub cover overlying outcrops and litholic soils rupestre provided herein is based on the following premises: was called campos alpinos (alpine fields) by ( Sampaio, (1) the classification of vegetation is not an exact science, 1938). Subsequent authors called them “savanas de altitude” and it is difficult to attain a high degree of consensus to (altitudinal savannas), “campos de altitude” (altitudinal the circumscription of vegetation names; (2) vegetation fields – for a definition see Vasconcellos, 2011), “campos classification is useful for conservation and management. quartzíticos” (quartzitic fields – tentatively circumscribed It is thus desirable to circumscribe vegetation types with by Rizzini, 1979), “campo sujo” (dirty fields), “campo the greatest attainable precision; (3) there is a need to limpo” (clean fields), “campo úmido” (humid fields), preserve all montane and rocky vegetation types, regardless “cerrado rupestre” (rupestrian fields), “carrasco” etc. Most of classification, ecorregion, etc; (4) the CRs are formed of the aforementioned terms have not been circumscribed by a complex mosaic of vegetation types including in detail, neither floristically nor physiognomically. This rock-dwelling, psammophilous, aquatic, paludicolous, is also true for the term “campos rupestres’ (henceforth epiphytic, and penumbral plant communities. (5) the term CRs), coined by the botanist Magalhães (1966) to substitute CRs is most precisely applicable to the vegetation of the the aforementioned older names applied to Brazilian open Espinhaço chain and outliers with the same lithology, mountaintop vegetation. The latter term gained broader use restricted to continental Brazil, as defined by researchers in Brazilian botanical literature since the 1970s, especially from University of São Paulo, Kew Gardens, and their in publications by researchers from the University of São followers in publications, lectures and seminars over the Paulo (USP) in collaboration with Kew Gardens, which last three decades. have applied it to continental montane vegetation restricted to Brazil, occurring mainly in the States of Minas Gerais, Circumscription and Discussion Bahia, and Goiás. Campos rupestres stricto sensu are a Neotropical, Currently campo rupestre is accepted and used azonal vegetation complex endemic to Brazil, forming internationally by botanists, zoologists, and other naturalists, a mosaic of rocky mountaintop “archipelagos” (Prance, despite the lack of a consensual published circumscription. 1994) inserted within a matrix of zonal vegetation, mainly A more detailed basis for such a circumscription was in the Cerrado and Caatinga vegetation domains (Figure 1) presented by Giulietti (1997) emphasising a richness of of the Brazilian Shield in the southeastern, northeastern ca. 4,000 vascular plant species distributed on 6,000 to 2 and central-western regions, usually in altitudes from 900 7,000 km , but the geographic emphasis was placed on to over 2000 m asl. the Espinhaço range, leaving out outliers (e.g. comparable The eastern limit of distribution of the CRs seems formations in Goiás and Tocantins States). to be determined by the seasonal climate (over 100 Km In the classification proposed by Walter (1985), from the Atlantic coast) as opposed to the oceanic climate montane vegetation complexes including the CRs are azonal predominant on mountaintops closer to the coast, which vegetation, being shaped mainly by edaphic factors with harbor the campos de altitude (Safford, 1999a, b, 2001, less influence from the macroclimate ( Alves et al., 2007; 2007; Vasconcellos, 2011). Alves and Kolbek, 2010b). Unlike the zonal ecorregions The northern limit of the CRs (~10° S) seems to be determined by macroclimate, montane vegetation complexes determined by distribution of the scarce annual rainfall (less including the CRs form a mosaic of mountaintop vegetation than 650 mm) where there are over five months with no “islands”. This insularity (Prance, 1994) is ancient: these precipitation. From northern Minas Gerais through Bahia, mountains have not been in contact during the life history the only Brazilian cactoid Euphorbiaceae, represented of their floras, hence individual CRs, even in geographically by a few species which grow exclusively in the CRs, close localities, can share similar vegetation physiognomies, indicate this limit. The Serra da Capivara range in Piauí substrate types and microclimates, but have very low has the appropriate lithology, but the summit vegetation floristic similarities ( Alves and Kolbek, 2010b). is a sclerophyllous scrub, and only one species occuring In this paper, we provide a review of the ecological at the scrub edges is allied to the CR floristic element: characteristics of Brazilian CRs, and of their present state Nanuza luetzelburgii R. J. V. Alves. of conservation. We briefly characterise the vegetation The southern limit of the CRs (~ 21, 5° S) is roughly type and its variability, identify cases of endemism of flora coincident with the Tropic of Capricorn, which is also and fauna, and the main ecological factors responsible for roughly the transition between the Cerrado (north) and the CR biodiversity, and initiate a discussion on biodiversity “zona da mata” vegetation (forest zone) of Minas Gerais conservation of CRs. As most research has been conducted state. There are still typical CRs on the Ibitipoca range 356 356 Braz. J. Biol., 2014, vol. 74, no. 2, p. 355-362 Circumscribing campo rupestre Figure 1. Mosaic showing main outcrop massifs inserted in zonal ecorregions of Eastern and Central Brazil. (quartzite, 21, 7° S, 43, 8° W in contact with Cerrado), but CRs have a daily water supply greater than that indicated in the Serra Negra range within the Atlantic forest (also for their zonal ecorregions. The CRs have pronounced quartzite, 22° S, 43.8° W just 35 Km south of Ibitipoca), oscillations between day and night temperatures (Alves, a woody scrub substitutes the natural open vegetation in 1992). This markedly seasonal climate separates the CRs most parts, and the open parts have more floristic elements from other Neotropical open outcrop and montane formations of the campos de altitude, with Chusquea riosaltensis which lack an arid season, such as the aforementioned L. G. Clark dominating large extensions. Dominance of campos de altitude and the Tepuis of the Amazon region. Chusquea, a typical element of campo de altitude, advocates The underlying outcrops of the CRs are metamorphic, for more abundant and better-distributed precipitation in mainly Precambrian quartzites exposed since the Tertiary Serra Negra, inserted in the forest zone rather than the and frequently also ironstone (hematite). The presence of savanna. On the Morro do Forno (state of São Paulo, 22° CRs on other lithologies has not been confirmed. S, precipitation of 1517 mm/year), Oliveira and Godoy The soils, when present, form a shallow layer of white (2007) found several floristic elements typical of the CRs, sand, often darkened by charcoal from savanna fires, rarely such as Cambessedesia DC., Marcetia DC., Barbacenia reaching three meters in depth, overlying the bedrock. The Vand., Vellozia Vand., Xyris L. and Dicranopteris linearis water table in these soils suffers considerable seasonal (Burm. f.) Underw. The south Brazilian Campos occur in a fluctuations. These highly acidic, clayless and siltless subtropical region with hot summers, cool winters and no soils are a true chemical desert with a considerable lack dry season, within the Pampa and Atlantic Forest Domains, of nutrients, and the genus Philcoxia (Plantaginaceae) is and are floristically unrelated to the CRs ( Overbeck et al., endemic to three disjunct areas of CRs where it grows 2007). exclusively on these white sands (Taylor et al., 2000). The western limits of the CRs are yet to be established, The decomposition of organic matter in these soils is slow by seeking more precise floristic, vegetation, climate and (Benites et al., 2003; Silva et al., 2004). Gravel, mainly geological data from localities such as the Ricardo Franco composed of milky-quartz, is common in the CRs and range in Mato Grosso State, where preliminary botanical several plant species such as Drosera schwackei (Diels) collections revealed some promising materials (Paulo G. Rivadavia are restricted to it (Rivadavia et al., 2003). Windisch, pers. comm.) With this soil nutrient poverty, it is a paradox that The climate in the zone where CRs occur is continental, 15-60% of the flora of the Cerrado are exclusively found with measured annual precipitation above 800-1500 mm, in the CRs, which occupy less than 3% of the vegetation with an arid season lasting two to five months. However, domain (respectively Sano et al., 2008; Sano and De horizontal precipitation (which usually is not measured by Almeida, 1998). The species richness per area of the CRs meteorological stations) is copious, hence the plants in the is also exponentially greater than in the zonal ecorregions Braz. J. Biol., 2014, vol. 74, no. 2, p. 355-362 357 357 Alves, RJV. et al. in which they occur (Table 1), e.g. in the Caraça range, Quaternary coastal strand restingas, campos de altitude above 1,800 m asl., Oliveira (2010) found 356 species of and even in the surrounding zonal vegetation (Alves et al., flowering plants in an area of only 1 Km . 2007; Vasconcellos, 2011). There is a high number of microendemisms in the CRs, Despite the shallow soils, a large prpoportion of the CR with small populations restricted to single mountaintops: vascular floras are represented by geophytes, chamaephytes, e.g. despite intense field efforts, in the São José range, hemicryptophytes and nanophanerophytes with well only 15 individuals are known of Croton arlineae D. developed underground systems such as lignotubers, Medeiros, L. Senna & R. J. V. Alves, and less than 50 of or other Specialised storage and bud-bearing structures C. josephinus Müll. Arg. (Medeiros et al., 2002, 2008, (Conceição and Pirani, 2005; Alves and Kolbek, 2010a). 2011). Many species from the CRs are known only from Clonal growth is a common trait in the CRs. Several types a single collection (the holotype): e.g. in the Velloziaceae of underground systems are responsible for more than 50% this is true for many species (Smith and Ayensu, 1976). of the plant biomass in the CRs. These bud banks are an Many genera are endemic to or reach their highest species adaptation to disturbance (Klimes˘ová and Klimeš, 2007) diversity in the CRs (Harley, 1995; Giulietti and Pirani, represented in the CRs by savanna fires and the arid season 1988). (Conceição and Pirani, 2005; Kolbek and Alves, 2008), The largest Angiosperm families (Asteraceae, and sometimes can guarantee an impressive longevity for Orchidaceae, Poaceae, and Leguminosae lato sensu) are some species (Alves et al., 2013). very well represented in the CRs, but this is also true Furthermore, rock outcrops provide safe sites against for many other open vegetation types, so their relative disturbance by fire (Müller et al., 2007). species richnesses are not of diagnostic use. On the other Several unrelated subshrub species also converge either hand, the vascular floristic markers (genera and species), by an ericoid habit, by leaves congested at the branch apices, which seem typical for the CRs, do not necessarily occur and by decussate phyllotaxis. Many plant species in the together in all localities of the mosaic. Even at the genus CRs are r-strategists (sensu Grime, 2001) with very slow level, CRs on distinct mountains are floristically dissimilar growth rates. The longevity found in shrubby species of (Alves and Kolbek, 2010b). Eriocaulaceae, Velloziaceae, Vellozia stands out in this respect (Alves, 1994), indicating and Xyridaceae are exceptionally species-rich in the CRs that the outcrop vegetation of the CRs is a special type of (Harley, 1995; Giulietti and Pirani, 1988). Among the climax, and not an initial phase of succession (Rizzini, 1979). marker taxa, a group of terete-leaved species of the orchid The “naked” rock outcrops of the CRs commonly exhibit genus Acianthera Scheidw., (in older literature listed under a striation of dark and light vertical bands resembling a Pleurothallis R. Br. or Specklinia Lindl.) is also exclusive barcode, formed by colonies of epilithic and endolithic of the CRs, where it initiates primary succession on rock Cyanobacteria and algae (Alves et al., 2002; De Sousa et al., outcrops (Alves and Kolbek, 2000). Another typical 2006, 2007a, b). As these crusts are active in nitrogen species is the small bamboo Aulonemia effusa (Hack.) fixation ( Büdel et al., 2000, 2002, 2004; Porembski, 2007), Mc-Clure (Poaceae), as pointed out by Rizzini (1979), they probably facilitate succession by rock-dwelling which occurs restricted to the CRs from the Chapada communities, such as cushions dominated by lichens, Diamantina (Vianna and Filgueiras, 2008) southward bryophytes and monocotyledonous mats such as species all the way to the Serra de São José (Alves and Kolbek, of Trilepis Nees and Acianthera Scheidweiler. (Alves 2009). Specialised communities with carnivorous plants, and Kolbek, 2000; Safford and Martinelli, 2000). Natural including several species of Droseraceae (e.g. Drosera cavities in quartzite or ironstone CRs harbour peculiar camporupestris Rivadavia, D. graomogolensis T. R. S. penumbral plant communities (Alves and Kolbek, 1993; Silva, D. tentaculata Rivadavia, D. schwackei Rivadavia Jacobi et al., 2007, 2008). and D. chrysolepis Taub.) are also only restricted to the CRs. The cover of the herb and subshrub layers in the CRs Many plant species previously considered typical is usually higher than 50%, while the shrub and tree layers of the CRs also grow in other vegetation types such as rarely reach 10%. Due to the frequent strong winds and the Table 1. Comparison of species richness per area in the CRs and respective ecorregions. Province Cerrado Caatinga Vegetation entire vegetation CRs/Serra do CRs/Serra de São entire vegetation CRs/Pico das complex/Place domain Cipó José domain Almas Area (km ) 2,000,000 200 25 850,000 170 No. of species 12,000 1,854 1,258 ~2,000 1,044 Species / km 0.006 9.27 50.32 0.002 6.14 Source Sano et al. (2008) Flora* Alves and Sampaio et al. Stannard et al. Kolbek (2010b) (2002) (1995) *The number of species of the Serra do Cipó flora was compiled from the initial checklist published by Giulietti et al. (1987), updated progressively from 102 papers in the Bol. Bot. Univ. São Paulo, published between 1987 and 2011, listed at: http://www.revistas.usp.br/bolbot/search/titles?searchPage=2). 358 358 Braz. J. Biol., 2014, vol. 74, no. 2, p. 355-362 Circumscribing campo rupestre unstable soils, trees in the CRs rarely attain heights above 6 affinity with the Atlantic forest than with the diagonal of m (Kolbek and Alves, 2008). The vegetation physiognomies open formations (caatinga – cerrado – gran chaco). in the CRs are dictated mainly by microtopography, As for the mammals, most species inhabiting CRs exposition, and soil drainage . are ordinarily found in other vegetation complexes in the In Canga (ironstone CRs), Jacobi et al. (2007) discerned Cerrado matrix such as the Cerrado sensu stricto (e.g., the following microhabitats: exposed rock surfaces; rock Pereira and Geise, 2009), but a few select taxa seem to be pools; ephemeral small ponds; rock fissures; soil-filled endemic or at least rarely recorded elsewhere. Mammal depressions, steps and crevices; monocotyledonous mats; species possibly endemic of the CRs are usually restricted tree associations; and crust edges and cave entrances to one or a few mountain ranges of the same massif. [penumbral communities sensu Alves and Kolbek (1993)]. Very rarely such species are found disjunct on CRs and Other subdivisions were proposed for the CR mosaic mountains of far apart massifs, which indicates that they by Conceição and Pirani (2005) and Alves and Kolbek are restricted to this vegetation complex. Thus far, due (2010b). Shrubby Vellozia spp. and Podocarpus lambertii to the insufficiency of faunistic inventories, it seems that Klotzsch ex Endl. in the CRs often harbour peculiar such species are usually restricted to mountains or massifs epiphytic communities (Souza Werneck and Do Espírito with CRs, but not necessarily exclusive of the CRs. The Santo, 2002; Alves et al., 2008). only case of a mammal known exclusively from CRs is Strategic importance and conservation of the CRs Olygoryzomys rupestris Weksler & Bonvicino, 2005, a (1) A significant proportion of the floras within sigmodont rodent that has been recorded so far only in the Cerrado and Caatinga domains grows widely isolated localities: Alto Paraíso, Goiás, Chapada exclusively in the CRs; dos Veadeiros, in Goiás state, and two scattered localities in the Chapada Diamantina, northern Espinhaço range, (2) CRs capture rainwater and are responsible for state of Bahia. So far this species has only been captured redistribution of drinking water; at high altitudes (1500m) either in CRs or on their limits (3) CRs harbour many endemic animal species; with adjacent vegetation (Weksler and Bonvicino, 2005; (4) CRs are a valuable natural scenery heritage. Pereira and Geise, 2009). Vertebrate endemics – As delimited here, CRs occur Impacts – Extensive cattle grazing causes by far in island mountaintops and plateaus belonging to distinct the largest and most widespread negative impact to the parallel massifs oriented north to south across the hinterlands biodiversity of the CRs, even those within all formally of the Brazilian shield, in the central portion of the diagonal established conservation units. Cattle dung causes a of open formations that stretches from northeastern Brazil nutrient invasion in the originally poor soils, which triggers to northwest Argentina (Schmidt and Inger, 1951). The core invasions by c-strategist plants such as the African molasses region of CRs are found in the Espinhaço range, which grass (Melinis minutiflora P. Beauv), which ultimately extends from northern Bahia to southern Minas Gerais outcompete and eliminate the native r-strategists, and states, delimiting the east basin of Rio São Francisco, and connect previously isolated saxicolous vegetation stands the “Espigão Mestre” range, which encompasses several during fires. Unfortunately, M. minutiflora is currently “serras” separating the Tocantins and São Francisco and common to all CRs (Kolbek and Alves, 2008). The impacts Paraná river basins in east Goiás and west Bahia and of fire upon the CRs, on the other hand, depend on the Minas Gerais. periodicity. The flora of the CRs has many pyrophytes and As would be expected, each of these river basins and species adapted to savanna fire, e.g. the aforementioned mountain chains harbours endemic vertebrate species. underground systems (Alves and Silva, 2011). Surface Nevertheless, the current level of knowledge on the mining, especially of iron ore, is also greatly depleting composition and distribution of the vertebrate faunas the CRs in many areas with endemic species, especially inhabiting mountaintops across this wide region is still in Minas Gerais (Jacobi et al., 2007). incipient, and the condition of endemism is, for a number of cases, a hypothesis. 1. Final Comments The Espinhaço range has been acknowledged as an (1) Despite their variability and disjunctions, the important centre of endemism for anurans, lizards and birds Brazilian CRs are a phytogeographic unit controlled by (Rodrigues, 1987; Pugliese et al., 2004; Eterovick et al., substrate, climate and floristic elements, distributed mainly 2005; Hayer, 1999, Nascimento et al., 2005; Rodrigues et al., in the states of Minas Gerais, Bahia, and Goiás; (2) effective 2005; Vanzolini, 1982), but at least for birds the endemic conservation of most of the CRs (which occupy a total area species seem to be better classified as “montane open- which represents less than 3% of the respective vegetation habitat endemics” – species endemic to the open-habitats of domains) would preserve the populations of a great number southeastern Brazilian mountaintops (campos rupestres and of endemic and rare native plant species; (3) due to their campos de altitude), including those restricted to campos insularity, the concept of ecological corridors cannot be rupestres” (Vasconcellos and Rodrigues, 2010). Hayer applied to the CRs. Interconnecting these “islands” would (1999) argued that, unlike what is observed in plants and other vertebrates, the endemic anuran fauna of CRs in the pose great risks for the numerous endemic populations and Espinhaço range shows a much stronger biogeographical lead to loss of biodiversity at all levels; (4) The distinction Braz. J. Biol., 2014, vol. 74, no. 2, p. 355-362 359 359 Alves, RJV. et al. between CRs and the campos de altitude has been eloquently BÜDEL, B., BECKER, U., FOLLMANN, G. and STERFLINGER, K., 2000. Algae, fungi, and lichens on inselbergs. In POREMBSKI, established by Vasconcellos (2011). However, further S. and BARTHLOTT, W. (Eds.). Inselbergs: Biotic Diversity analyses of what is currently called campo de altitude shall of Isolated Rock Outcrops in Tropical and Temperate Regions. probably separate the species-poor plant communities of Berlim: Springer. p. 69-90. 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Circumscribing campo rupestre – megadiverse Brazilian rocky montane savanas

Brazilian Journal of BiologyMay 1, 2014

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Abstract

Currently campo rupestre (CR) is a name accepted and used internationally by botanists, zoologists, and other naturalists, usually applied to a very specific ecosystem, despite the lack of a consensual published circumscription. We present a tentative geographic circumscription of the term, combining data on climate, geology, geomorphology, soil, flora, fauna and vegetation. The circumscription of campo rupestre proposed herein is based on the following premises: (1) the classification of vegetation is not an exact science, and it is difficult to attain a high degree of consensus to the circumscription of vegetation names; (2) despite this, vegetation classification is useful for conservation and management. It is thus desirable to circumscribe vegetation types with the greatest attainable precision; (3) there is a need to preserve all montane and rocky vegetation types, regardless of classification, biome, etc; (4) the CRs are formed by a complex mosaic of vegetation types including rock-dwelling, psammophilous, aquatic, epiphytic, and penumbral plant communities. Campos rupestres stricto sensu are a Neotropical, azonal vegetation complex endemic to Brazil, forming a mosaic of rocky mountaintop “archipelagos” inserted within a matrix of zonal vegetation, mainly in the Cerrado and Caatinga provinces of the Brazilian Shield (southeastern, northeastern and central-western regions), occurring mainly above 900 m asl. up to altitudes exceeding 2000 m, having measured annual precipitation between 800 and 1500 mm, and an arid season of two to five months. Keywords: rocky savana, montane savana, rock-dwelling vegetation, biogeographic elements, vegetation classification, Neotropics. Circunscrevendo campo rupestre – savanas montanas rochosas megadiversas do Brasil Resumo Atualmente campo rupestre (CR) é um termo aceito e internacionalmente usado por botânicos, zoólogos e outros naturalistas, geralmente aplicado a um ecossistema muito específico apesar de não haver uma circunscrição de consenso. Nós apresentamos uma ciscunscrição geográfica tentativa do termo, combinando dados de clima, geologia, geomorfologia, solo, flora, fauna e vegetação. A circunscrição de campo rupestre aqui proposta se baseia nas seguintes premissas: (1) a classificação da vegetação não é uma ciência exata e é difícil atingir um alto grau de consenso sobre a circunscrição de nomes de vegetação; (2) apesar disto, a classificação da vegetação é útil para conservação e manejo. Assim é desejável descrever os tipos de vegetação com a maior precisão tangível; exista a necessidade de se preservar todos os tipos de vegetação montanos e rochosos, independentemente de sua classificação, bioma, etc. (4) os CRs são formados por um complexo mosaico de tipos de vegetação incluindo comunidades sobre rocha, psamíóilas, aquáticas, epífitas e penumbrais. Os campos rupestres stricto sensu são um complexo de vegetação endêmico ao Brasil, azonal, Neotropical, inserido numa matriz de vegetação zonal, sobretudo nas províncias do Cerrado e da Caatinga do Escudo do Brasil (regiões Sudeste, Nordeste e Centro_Oeste), ocorrendo principalmente acima de 900 m de altitude, até altitudes superiores a 2000 m, tendo uma precipitação anual mensurada entre 800 e 1500 mm, e uma estação árida de dois a cinco meses. Palavras-chave: savana pedregosa, savana montana, vegetação sobre rocha, elementos biogeográficos, classificação da vegetação, Neotrópico. Braz. J. Biol., 2014, vol. 74, no. 2, p. 355-362 355 355 Alves, RJV. et al. in the states of Minas Gerais and Bahia, which together 1. Introduction harbour over 90% of the CRs, much of the available data Since the early 1990s, the importance of mountains is from those states, while the characteristics of other has been gaining broader international recognition within CRs (e.g. from. Goiás and Tocantins) are poorly known. the framework of the Convention o Biological Diversity (Messerli and Ives, 1997). In Brazil, this recognition by the 1. Premises State arrived with some delay (Martinelli, 2007). Historically, Brazilian mountaintop vegetation with prevalent herbaceous Our contribution to the circumscription of campo and subshrub cover overlying outcrops and litholic soils rupestre provided herein is based on the following premises: was called campos alpinos (alpine fields) by ( Sampaio, (1) the classification of vegetation is not an exact science, 1938). Subsequent authors called them “savanas de altitude” and it is difficult to attain a high degree of consensus to (altitudinal savannas), “campos de altitude” (altitudinal the circumscription of vegetation names; (2) vegetation fields – for a definition see Vasconcellos, 2011), “campos classification is useful for conservation and management. quartzíticos” (quartzitic fields – tentatively circumscribed It is thus desirable to circumscribe vegetation types with by Rizzini, 1979), “campo sujo” (dirty fields), “campo the greatest attainable precision; (3) there is a need to limpo” (clean fields), “campo úmido” (humid fields), preserve all montane and rocky vegetation types, regardless “cerrado rupestre” (rupestrian fields), “carrasco” etc. Most of classification, ecorregion, etc; (4) the CRs are formed of the aforementioned terms have not been circumscribed by a complex mosaic of vegetation types including in detail, neither floristically nor physiognomically. This rock-dwelling, psammophilous, aquatic, paludicolous, is also true for the term “campos rupestres’ (henceforth epiphytic, and penumbral plant communities. (5) the term CRs), coined by the botanist Magalhães (1966) to substitute CRs is most precisely applicable to the vegetation of the the aforementioned older names applied to Brazilian open Espinhaço chain and outliers with the same lithology, mountaintop vegetation. The latter term gained broader use restricted to continental Brazil, as defined by researchers in Brazilian botanical literature since the 1970s, especially from University of São Paulo, Kew Gardens, and their in publications by researchers from the University of São followers in publications, lectures and seminars over the Paulo (USP) in collaboration with Kew Gardens, which last three decades. have applied it to continental montane vegetation restricted to Brazil, occurring mainly in the States of Minas Gerais, Circumscription and Discussion Bahia, and Goiás. Campos rupestres stricto sensu are a Neotropical, Currently campo rupestre is accepted and used azonal vegetation complex endemic to Brazil, forming internationally by botanists, zoologists, and other naturalists, a mosaic of rocky mountaintop “archipelagos” (Prance, despite the lack of a consensual published circumscription. 1994) inserted within a matrix of zonal vegetation, mainly A more detailed basis for such a circumscription was in the Cerrado and Caatinga vegetation domains (Figure 1) presented by Giulietti (1997) emphasising a richness of of the Brazilian Shield in the southeastern, northeastern ca. 4,000 vascular plant species distributed on 6,000 to 2 and central-western regions, usually in altitudes from 900 7,000 km , but the geographic emphasis was placed on to over 2000 m asl. the Espinhaço range, leaving out outliers (e.g. comparable The eastern limit of distribution of the CRs seems formations in Goiás and Tocantins States). to be determined by the seasonal climate (over 100 Km In the classification proposed by Walter (1985), from the Atlantic coast) as opposed to the oceanic climate montane vegetation complexes including the CRs are azonal predominant on mountaintops closer to the coast, which vegetation, being shaped mainly by edaphic factors with harbor the campos de altitude (Safford, 1999a, b, 2001, less influence from the macroclimate ( Alves et al., 2007; 2007; Vasconcellos, 2011). Alves and Kolbek, 2010b). Unlike the zonal ecorregions The northern limit of the CRs (~10° S) seems to be determined by macroclimate, montane vegetation complexes determined by distribution of the scarce annual rainfall (less including the CRs form a mosaic of mountaintop vegetation than 650 mm) where there are over five months with no “islands”. This insularity (Prance, 1994) is ancient: these precipitation. From northern Minas Gerais through Bahia, mountains have not been in contact during the life history the only Brazilian cactoid Euphorbiaceae, represented of their floras, hence individual CRs, even in geographically by a few species which grow exclusively in the CRs, close localities, can share similar vegetation physiognomies, indicate this limit. The Serra da Capivara range in Piauí substrate types and microclimates, but have very low has the appropriate lithology, but the summit vegetation floristic similarities ( Alves and Kolbek, 2010b). is a sclerophyllous scrub, and only one species occuring In this paper, we provide a review of the ecological at the scrub edges is allied to the CR floristic element: characteristics of Brazilian CRs, and of their present state Nanuza luetzelburgii R. J. V. Alves. of conservation. We briefly characterise the vegetation The southern limit of the CRs (~ 21, 5° S) is roughly type and its variability, identify cases of endemism of flora coincident with the Tropic of Capricorn, which is also and fauna, and the main ecological factors responsible for roughly the transition between the Cerrado (north) and the CR biodiversity, and initiate a discussion on biodiversity “zona da mata” vegetation (forest zone) of Minas Gerais conservation of CRs. As most research has been conducted state. There are still typical CRs on the Ibitipoca range 356 356 Braz. J. Biol., 2014, vol. 74, no. 2, p. 355-362 Circumscribing campo rupestre Figure 1. Mosaic showing main outcrop massifs inserted in zonal ecorregions of Eastern and Central Brazil. (quartzite, 21, 7° S, 43, 8° W in contact with Cerrado), but CRs have a daily water supply greater than that indicated in the Serra Negra range within the Atlantic forest (also for their zonal ecorregions. The CRs have pronounced quartzite, 22° S, 43.8° W just 35 Km south of Ibitipoca), oscillations between day and night temperatures (Alves, a woody scrub substitutes the natural open vegetation in 1992). This markedly seasonal climate separates the CRs most parts, and the open parts have more floristic elements from other Neotropical open outcrop and montane formations of the campos de altitude, with Chusquea riosaltensis which lack an arid season, such as the aforementioned L. G. Clark dominating large extensions. Dominance of campos de altitude and the Tepuis of the Amazon region. Chusquea, a typical element of campo de altitude, advocates The underlying outcrops of the CRs are metamorphic, for more abundant and better-distributed precipitation in mainly Precambrian quartzites exposed since the Tertiary Serra Negra, inserted in the forest zone rather than the and frequently also ironstone (hematite). The presence of savanna. On the Morro do Forno (state of São Paulo, 22° CRs on other lithologies has not been confirmed. S, precipitation of 1517 mm/year), Oliveira and Godoy The soils, when present, form a shallow layer of white (2007) found several floristic elements typical of the CRs, sand, often darkened by charcoal from savanna fires, rarely such as Cambessedesia DC., Marcetia DC., Barbacenia reaching three meters in depth, overlying the bedrock. The Vand., Vellozia Vand., Xyris L. and Dicranopteris linearis water table in these soils suffers considerable seasonal (Burm. f.) Underw. The south Brazilian Campos occur in a fluctuations. These highly acidic, clayless and siltless subtropical region with hot summers, cool winters and no soils are a true chemical desert with a considerable lack dry season, within the Pampa and Atlantic Forest Domains, of nutrients, and the genus Philcoxia (Plantaginaceae) is and are floristically unrelated to the CRs ( Overbeck et al., endemic to three disjunct areas of CRs where it grows 2007). exclusively on these white sands (Taylor et al., 2000). The western limits of the CRs are yet to be established, The decomposition of organic matter in these soils is slow by seeking more precise floristic, vegetation, climate and (Benites et al., 2003; Silva et al., 2004). Gravel, mainly geological data from localities such as the Ricardo Franco composed of milky-quartz, is common in the CRs and range in Mato Grosso State, where preliminary botanical several plant species such as Drosera schwackei (Diels) collections revealed some promising materials (Paulo G. Rivadavia are restricted to it (Rivadavia et al., 2003). Windisch, pers. comm.) With this soil nutrient poverty, it is a paradox that The climate in the zone where CRs occur is continental, 15-60% of the flora of the Cerrado are exclusively found with measured annual precipitation above 800-1500 mm, in the CRs, which occupy less than 3% of the vegetation with an arid season lasting two to five months. However, domain (respectively Sano et al., 2008; Sano and De horizontal precipitation (which usually is not measured by Almeida, 1998). The species richness per area of the CRs meteorological stations) is copious, hence the plants in the is also exponentially greater than in the zonal ecorregions Braz. J. Biol., 2014, vol. 74, no. 2, p. 355-362 357 357 Alves, RJV. et al. in which they occur (Table 1), e.g. in the Caraça range, Quaternary coastal strand restingas, campos de altitude above 1,800 m asl., Oliveira (2010) found 356 species of and even in the surrounding zonal vegetation (Alves et al., flowering plants in an area of only 1 Km . 2007; Vasconcellos, 2011). There is a high number of microendemisms in the CRs, Despite the shallow soils, a large prpoportion of the CR with small populations restricted to single mountaintops: vascular floras are represented by geophytes, chamaephytes, e.g. despite intense field efforts, in the São José range, hemicryptophytes and nanophanerophytes with well only 15 individuals are known of Croton arlineae D. developed underground systems such as lignotubers, Medeiros, L. Senna & R. J. V. Alves, and less than 50 of or other Specialised storage and bud-bearing structures C. josephinus Müll. Arg. (Medeiros et al., 2002, 2008, (Conceição and Pirani, 2005; Alves and Kolbek, 2010a). 2011). Many species from the CRs are known only from Clonal growth is a common trait in the CRs. Several types a single collection (the holotype): e.g. in the Velloziaceae of underground systems are responsible for more than 50% this is true for many species (Smith and Ayensu, 1976). of the plant biomass in the CRs. These bud banks are an Many genera are endemic to or reach their highest species adaptation to disturbance (Klimes˘ová and Klimeš, 2007) diversity in the CRs (Harley, 1995; Giulietti and Pirani, represented in the CRs by savanna fires and the arid season 1988). (Conceição and Pirani, 2005; Kolbek and Alves, 2008), The largest Angiosperm families (Asteraceae, and sometimes can guarantee an impressive longevity for Orchidaceae, Poaceae, and Leguminosae lato sensu) are some species (Alves et al., 2013). very well represented in the CRs, but this is also true Furthermore, rock outcrops provide safe sites against for many other open vegetation types, so their relative disturbance by fire (Müller et al., 2007). species richnesses are not of diagnostic use. On the other Several unrelated subshrub species also converge either hand, the vascular floristic markers (genera and species), by an ericoid habit, by leaves congested at the branch apices, which seem typical for the CRs, do not necessarily occur and by decussate phyllotaxis. Many plant species in the together in all localities of the mosaic. Even at the genus CRs are r-strategists (sensu Grime, 2001) with very slow level, CRs on distinct mountains are floristically dissimilar growth rates. The longevity found in shrubby species of (Alves and Kolbek, 2010b). Eriocaulaceae, Velloziaceae, Vellozia stands out in this respect (Alves, 1994), indicating and Xyridaceae are exceptionally species-rich in the CRs that the outcrop vegetation of the CRs is a special type of (Harley, 1995; Giulietti and Pirani, 1988). Among the climax, and not an initial phase of succession (Rizzini, 1979). marker taxa, a group of terete-leaved species of the orchid The “naked” rock outcrops of the CRs commonly exhibit genus Acianthera Scheidw., (in older literature listed under a striation of dark and light vertical bands resembling a Pleurothallis R. Br. or Specklinia Lindl.) is also exclusive barcode, formed by colonies of epilithic and endolithic of the CRs, where it initiates primary succession on rock Cyanobacteria and algae (Alves et al., 2002; De Sousa et al., outcrops (Alves and Kolbek, 2000). Another typical 2006, 2007a, b). As these crusts are active in nitrogen species is the small bamboo Aulonemia effusa (Hack.) fixation ( Büdel et al., 2000, 2002, 2004; Porembski, 2007), Mc-Clure (Poaceae), as pointed out by Rizzini (1979), they probably facilitate succession by rock-dwelling which occurs restricted to the CRs from the Chapada communities, such as cushions dominated by lichens, Diamantina (Vianna and Filgueiras, 2008) southward bryophytes and monocotyledonous mats such as species all the way to the Serra de São José (Alves and Kolbek, of Trilepis Nees and Acianthera Scheidweiler. (Alves 2009). Specialised communities with carnivorous plants, and Kolbek, 2000; Safford and Martinelli, 2000). Natural including several species of Droseraceae (e.g. Drosera cavities in quartzite or ironstone CRs harbour peculiar camporupestris Rivadavia, D. graomogolensis T. R. S. penumbral plant communities (Alves and Kolbek, 1993; Silva, D. tentaculata Rivadavia, D. schwackei Rivadavia Jacobi et al., 2007, 2008). and D. chrysolepis Taub.) are also only restricted to the CRs. The cover of the herb and subshrub layers in the CRs Many plant species previously considered typical is usually higher than 50%, while the shrub and tree layers of the CRs also grow in other vegetation types such as rarely reach 10%. Due to the frequent strong winds and the Table 1. Comparison of species richness per area in the CRs and respective ecorregions. Province Cerrado Caatinga Vegetation entire vegetation CRs/Serra do CRs/Serra de São entire vegetation CRs/Pico das complex/Place domain Cipó José domain Almas Area (km ) 2,000,000 200 25 850,000 170 No. of species 12,000 1,854 1,258 ~2,000 1,044 Species / km 0.006 9.27 50.32 0.002 6.14 Source Sano et al. (2008) Flora* Alves and Sampaio et al. Stannard et al. Kolbek (2010b) (2002) (1995) *The number of species of the Serra do Cipó flora was compiled from the initial checklist published by Giulietti et al. (1987), updated progressively from 102 papers in the Bol. Bot. Univ. São Paulo, published between 1987 and 2011, listed at: http://www.revistas.usp.br/bolbot/search/titles?searchPage=2). 358 358 Braz. J. Biol., 2014, vol. 74, no. 2, p. 355-362 Circumscribing campo rupestre unstable soils, trees in the CRs rarely attain heights above 6 affinity with the Atlantic forest than with the diagonal of m (Kolbek and Alves, 2008). The vegetation physiognomies open formations (caatinga – cerrado – gran chaco). in the CRs are dictated mainly by microtopography, As for the mammals, most species inhabiting CRs exposition, and soil drainage . are ordinarily found in other vegetation complexes in the In Canga (ironstone CRs), Jacobi et al. (2007) discerned Cerrado matrix such as the Cerrado sensu stricto (e.g., the following microhabitats: exposed rock surfaces; rock Pereira and Geise, 2009), but a few select taxa seem to be pools; ephemeral small ponds; rock fissures; soil-filled endemic or at least rarely recorded elsewhere. Mammal depressions, steps and crevices; monocotyledonous mats; species possibly endemic of the CRs are usually restricted tree associations; and crust edges and cave entrances to one or a few mountain ranges of the same massif. [penumbral communities sensu Alves and Kolbek (1993)]. Very rarely such species are found disjunct on CRs and Other subdivisions were proposed for the CR mosaic mountains of far apart massifs, which indicates that they by Conceição and Pirani (2005) and Alves and Kolbek are restricted to this vegetation complex. Thus far, due (2010b). Shrubby Vellozia spp. and Podocarpus lambertii to the insufficiency of faunistic inventories, it seems that Klotzsch ex Endl. in the CRs often harbour peculiar such species are usually restricted to mountains or massifs epiphytic communities (Souza Werneck and Do Espírito with CRs, but not necessarily exclusive of the CRs. The Santo, 2002; Alves et al., 2008). only case of a mammal known exclusively from CRs is Strategic importance and conservation of the CRs Olygoryzomys rupestris Weksler & Bonvicino, 2005, a (1) A significant proportion of the floras within sigmodont rodent that has been recorded so far only in the Cerrado and Caatinga domains grows widely isolated localities: Alto Paraíso, Goiás, Chapada exclusively in the CRs; dos Veadeiros, in Goiás state, and two scattered localities in the Chapada Diamantina, northern Espinhaço range, (2) CRs capture rainwater and are responsible for state of Bahia. So far this species has only been captured redistribution of drinking water; at high altitudes (1500m) either in CRs or on their limits (3) CRs harbour many endemic animal species; with adjacent vegetation (Weksler and Bonvicino, 2005; (4) CRs are a valuable natural scenery heritage. Pereira and Geise, 2009). Vertebrate endemics – As delimited here, CRs occur Impacts – Extensive cattle grazing causes by far in island mountaintops and plateaus belonging to distinct the largest and most widespread negative impact to the parallel massifs oriented north to south across the hinterlands biodiversity of the CRs, even those within all formally of the Brazilian shield, in the central portion of the diagonal established conservation units. Cattle dung causes a of open formations that stretches from northeastern Brazil nutrient invasion in the originally poor soils, which triggers to northwest Argentina (Schmidt and Inger, 1951). The core invasions by c-strategist plants such as the African molasses region of CRs are found in the Espinhaço range, which grass (Melinis minutiflora P. Beauv), which ultimately extends from northern Bahia to southern Minas Gerais outcompete and eliminate the native r-strategists, and states, delimiting the east basin of Rio São Francisco, and connect previously isolated saxicolous vegetation stands the “Espigão Mestre” range, which encompasses several during fires. Unfortunately, M. minutiflora is currently “serras” separating the Tocantins and São Francisco and common to all CRs (Kolbek and Alves, 2008). The impacts Paraná river basins in east Goiás and west Bahia and of fire upon the CRs, on the other hand, depend on the Minas Gerais. periodicity. The flora of the CRs has many pyrophytes and As would be expected, each of these river basins and species adapted to savanna fire, e.g. the aforementioned mountain chains harbours endemic vertebrate species. underground systems (Alves and Silva, 2011). Surface Nevertheless, the current level of knowledge on the mining, especially of iron ore, is also greatly depleting composition and distribution of the vertebrate faunas the CRs in many areas with endemic species, especially inhabiting mountaintops across this wide region is still in Minas Gerais (Jacobi et al., 2007). incipient, and the condition of endemism is, for a number of cases, a hypothesis. 1. Final Comments The Espinhaço range has been acknowledged as an (1) Despite their variability and disjunctions, the important centre of endemism for anurans, lizards and birds Brazilian CRs are a phytogeographic unit controlled by (Rodrigues, 1987; Pugliese et al., 2004; Eterovick et al., substrate, climate and floristic elements, distributed mainly 2005; Hayer, 1999, Nascimento et al., 2005; Rodrigues et al., in the states of Minas Gerais, Bahia, and Goiás; (2) effective 2005; Vanzolini, 1982), but at least for birds the endemic conservation of most of the CRs (which occupy a total area species seem to be better classified as “montane open- which represents less than 3% of the respective vegetation habitat endemics” – species endemic to the open-habitats of domains) would preserve the populations of a great number southeastern Brazilian mountaintops (campos rupestres and of endemic and rare native plant species; (3) due to their campos de altitude), including those restricted to campos insularity, the concept of ecological corridors cannot be rupestres” (Vasconcellos and Rodrigues, 2010). Hayer applied to the CRs. Interconnecting these “islands” would (1999) argued that, unlike what is observed in plants and other vertebrates, the endemic anuran fauna of CRs in the pose great risks for the numerous endemic populations and Espinhaço range shows a much stronger biogeographical lead to loss of biodiversity at all levels; (4) The distinction Braz. J. Biol., 2014, vol. 74, no. 2, p. 355-362 359 359 Alves, RJV. et al. between CRs and the campos de altitude has been eloquently BÜDEL, B., BECKER, U., FOLLMANN, G. and STERFLINGER, K., 2000. Algae, fungi, and lichens on inselbergs. In POREMBSKI, established by Vasconcellos (2011). However, further S. and BARTHLOTT, W. (Eds.). Inselbergs: Biotic Diversity analyses of what is currently called campo de altitude shall of Isolated Rock Outcrops in Tropical and Temperate Regions. probably separate the species-poor plant communities of Berlim: Springer. p. 69-90. 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