On-line version ISSN 0717-6643
SAN MARTIN, Cristina; VILLAGRA, Johana and NOVOA, Carla. COMPARISON OF PRAIRIE MANAGEMENTS IN SOUTH-CENTRAL CHILE WITH THE BIOINDICATORS VALUES OF ELLENBERG. Gayana Bot. [online]. 2009, vol.66, n.2, pp. 158-170. ISSN 0717-6643. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-66432009000200004.
Ellenberg bioindicators values for European weeds were compared in two prairie managements with cattle and sheep on a volcanic soil of South-Central Chile. It was found that sheep grazing degrades the soil and vegetation cover much more that cattle grazing. These results corresponds to vegetation and soil differences found earlier in a plant sociological study, which found that the differences between both types of grazing established two different plant associations: Hyperico-Agrostietum capülariae (cattle grazing) and Airo-Agrostietum capülariae (sheep grazing). It was confirmed that with different kinds of management is very important the soil physical degradation, specially compactnees, that alters the quantity, size, distribution and orientation of the pores, changing the hydraulic conductivity and the air-water-soil ratio, determining the rooting of grasses. In both prairie is possible to distinguish different level of degradation, which ultimately allow the settlement of secondary shrub associations, such as Aristotelio-Rubetum constrictae (zarzamora scrub) in the cattle pasture. The degradation of the sheep prairie concluded in a not studied Hips Rose bush. The values of biological indicators plant species, show that those microclimate conditions (light and temperature) tend to focus more on small sections of the scale, while those edaphic (reaction, nitrogen and soil moisture) are dispersed throughout the spectrum of indicators values. The indifferent species to the bioindicators increased with favourable conditions but decreased in extreme conditions. Finally it confirms the usefulness of applying the values of Ellenberg bioindicators in the anthropogenic Chilean prairies, plant communities dominated by weeds of European origin, which can capture even small differences in handling, without requiring large investiment of time and money.
Keywords : Plant indicators; anthropogenic prairie; soil management; grazing.