Importancia de los arbustos en los ecosistemas semiáridos de Chile

Ecosistemas 01/2004;
Source: DOAJ

ABSTRACT Los arbustos leñosos y las cactáceas representan formas de vida peculiares de los ambientes áridos y semiáridos de Chile. Contribuyen significativamente a mantener la integridad física de los ecosistemas semiáridos a través de evitar o aminorar la erosión de los suelos. Hacen aportes importantes a la constitución orgánica de los suelos y bajo sus copas existen condiciones más favorables para el reclutamiento de plántulas de arbustos y de plantas herbáceas. Los arbustos son importantes no sólo porque confieren estabilidad estructural sino porque además contribuyen significativamente a mantener la alta biodiversidad de los ecosistemas semiáridos. La eliminación de la vegetación arbustiva acelera el proceso de la erosión y consiguientemente de la desertificación y, además, se pierden importantes funciones ecosistémicas.

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