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A BOTANICAL INVENTORY OF FOREST ON KARSTIC LIMESTONE AND METAMORPHIC SUBSTRATE IN THE CHIQUIBUL FOREST, BELIZE, WITH FOCUS ON WOODY TAXA

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 November 2015

H. M. Baden
Affiliation:
Institute of Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark. Max-Planck Odense Center on the Biodemography of Aging, Denmark. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
T. Särkinen
Affiliation:
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
D. A. Conde
Affiliation:
Institute of Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark. Max-Planck Odense Center on the Biodemography of Aging, Denmark. Centre for Research and Conservation, Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.
A. C. Matthews
Affiliation:
Imperial College London, United Kingdom.
H. Vandrot
Affiliation:
Laboratoire de botanique et d’écologie végétale, AC–UMR AMAP, Pouembout, New Caledonia.
S. Chicas
Affiliation:
University of Belize, Belmopan, Belize.
C. Pennil
Affiliation:
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA.
W. D. R. Bayly
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
R. Chance
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
S. G. M. Bridgewater
Affiliation:
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
D. J. Harris
Affiliation:
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
Corresponding
E-mail address:
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Abstract

The Chiquibul Forest Reserve and National Park in Belize is a priority conservation area within the ‘Maya Forest’ in Central America. Although taxonomic data are essential for the development of conservation plans in the region, there is limited knowledge of the existing species in the area. Here we present a botanical species list of mostly woody taxa based on voucher specimens, with particular focus on the Raspaculo watershed in the eastern part of the National Park. Within the Raspaculo watershed, a comparison is made between 0.1 ha of valley floor and 0.1 ha of hilltop vegetation, sampling trees, shrubs, palms and lianas ≥2.5 cm diameter at breast height. Additionally, a 1 ha plot was established in the Upper Raspaculo watershed. Our study shows 38 new species records for the region, and important additions to the flora of Belize. New records were recorded from forests on both metamorphic and karstic substrate, including previously overlooked hilltop forest elements. Quantitative assessment of vegetation across elevation zones shows distinct elements dominating on valley floors and hilltops. Our results show that the Chiquibul contains at least 58% of Belize’s threatened plant species, and represent a source of information for the management and conservation of the area.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Trustees of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh 2015 

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A BOTANICAL INVENTORY OF FOREST ON KARSTIC LIMESTONE AND METAMORPHIC SUBSTRATE IN THE CHIQUIBUL FOREST, BELIZE, WITH FOCUS ON WOODY TAXA
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A BOTANICAL INVENTORY OF FOREST ON KARSTIC LIMESTONE AND METAMORPHIC SUBSTRATE IN THE CHIQUIBUL FOREST, BELIZE, WITH FOCUS ON WOODY TAXA
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A BOTANICAL INVENTORY OF FOREST ON KARSTIC LIMESTONE AND METAMORPHIC SUBSTRATE IN THE CHIQUIBUL FOREST, BELIZE, WITH FOCUS ON WOODY TAXA
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