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Biogeographical Variation in the Mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni (L.) Jacq.) Woodlots of Barbados, West Indies

David Watts
Journal of Biogeography
Vol. 5, No. 4 (Dec., 1978), pp. 347-363
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/3038028
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3038028
Page Count: 17
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Biogeographical Variation in the Mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni (L.) Jacq.) Woodlots of Barbados, West Indies
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Abstract

Data have been collected relating to the sub-canopy flora and site characteristics of eighteen mahogany woodlots on coral limestone in Barbados, a small island in the West Indies from which all but tiny remnants of the native vegetation have long since been removed by man. Yet the sub-canopy flora of the woodlots consists of seventy species, a large proportion of which are native: in contrast, the mahogany is an introduced species. Analysis of the data by normal association analysis, Sorensen's index of similarity, and the Bray & Curtis two-axis ordination technique, points to the existence of two broad groupings of woodlot sites, one 'upland' and the other 'lowland'. The former may be broadly equated with a climate of annual moisture surplus, and the latter with one of annual moisture deficit. The role of the woodlot as a refuge for native subcanopy species is discussed, and the data are further examined in terms of their significance for an elucidation of the nature of the island's original forest cover.

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