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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


ROVERE, ADRIANA E  and  CALABRESE, GRACIELA M. Moss diversity in degraded environments under restoring in the Lago Puelo National Park (Chubut, Argentina). Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2011, vol.84, n.4, pp.571-580. ISSN 0716-078X.

Ecological restoration is a discipline that seeks to recover the attributes of an ecosystem which have been lost (species diversity, structure and function). The objective of this work was to evaluate the diversity and different life forms of mosses in three environments with varying levels of degradation, as well as the different substrates they grow on. Our study area lies within Lago Puelo National Reserve, in a sector undergoing restoration. Three different environments are found in this sector: (1) a remnant of mature Nothofagus dombeyi forest, (2) secondary Austrocedrus chilensis forest and (3) scrubland dominated by exotic species. Each of these environments was analyzed, and substrates with mosses, life forms and genera were registered. Our results showed a decrease in available substrates and species present as the level of disturbance increased, from the area of mature N. dombeyi forest (9 substrates; 17genera; 7 life forms), followed by the A. chilensis secondary forest (6 substrates: 8 genera: 5 life forms) , to the scrubland dominated by exotic species (1 substrate; 4 genera; 3 life forms). Mosses carry out important functions in ecosystems, as they are essential to the water balance, they are pioneers in unstable soils, where they control erosion and colonize disturbed sites, they provide habitat and food for invertebrates, and also constitute suitable sites for the germination of vascular plants. Although the germination of some woody species is negatively affected by the presence of mosses, the germination of other temperate forest tree species is favored. These results can be useful in restoration, whether for the recreation of absent substrates or the transfer of substrates with mosses, in order to promote the recovery of degraded forest areas to their original levels of biodiversity.

Keywords : biodiversity; bryophytes; conservation; facilitation; management.

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