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A preliminary classification of habitats of the Pantanal of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, and its relation to national and international wetland classification systems

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Nunes da Cunha,  Cátia
Working Group Tropical Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Junk,  Wolfgang J.
Working Group Tropical Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Nunes da Cunha, C., & Junk, W. J. (2011). A preliminary classification of habitats of the Pantanal of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, and its relation to national and international wetland classification systems. In W. J. Junk, C. J. da Silva, C. Nunes da Cunha, & K. M. Wantzen (Eds.), The Pantanal: Ecology, biodiversity and sustainable management of a large neotropical seasonal wetland (pp. 127-141). Sofia [et al.]: Pensoft.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-D3DC-7
Abstract
Large wetlands such as the Pantanal are composed of many different subsystems, ranked as ecosystems or habitats. These subsystems are subject to different environmental conditions, harbor different plant and animal communities, and interact with each other in many ways. Therefore, the functioning of the Pantanal can only be understood by closely examining the structures and functions of its individual subsystems and their interactions. Successful plans for the sustainable management and protection of the Pantanal and its biodiversity must take into account the specific requirements of these subsystems. Accordingly, the elaboration of an ecological classification of the habitats of the Pantanal is a prerequisite for future scientific research, management, and environmental legislation. In this chapter, we propose a preliminary ecological classification system based on a hierarchical order that considers climate, hydrology, soil and water chemistry, and plant cover. We discuss the position of our system in the context of other classifi cation systems and point out its advantages for scientists, decision makers, politicians, and the local population.