Table of Contents
ISRN Biodiversity
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 945190, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/945190
Research Article

Exergetic Model of Secondary Successions for Plant Communities in Arid Chaco (Argentina)

Facultad de Ciencias Agropecuarias, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Avenida Valparaíso s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, C.C. 509, 5000 Córdoba, Argentina

Received 24 March 2013; Accepted 19 May 2013

Academic Editors: A. Chistoserdov, H. Ford, and P. M. Vergara

Copyright © 2013 Marcos Karlin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Ecosystems are open systems where energy fluxes produce modifications over plant communities. According to the state and transition model, plant formations are defined by changes in natural conditions and disturbs. Based on these changes, it is possible to define vectors that show the tendencies of the communities towards other states. Within the subregion of Arid Chaco, mature communities of Aspidosperma quebracho blanco represent the quasistable equilibrium communities or “climax,” similar to that observed in the Chancaní Natural Reserve (Córdoba, Argentina). Biodiversity values and Lyapunov coefficients were calculated based on plant abundance and cover data. Lyapunov coefficients were calculated as the Euclidean distance of each site with respect to reference condition (community of Aspidosperma quebracho blanco), representing for each state the necessary exergy to reach the reference condition. When Lyapunov coefficients decrease in time, it is expected for the system to drive towards a quasistationary state; otherwise, the equilibrium is unstable and becomes less resilient. The diversity of species has a significant effect over the resistance to perturbations but equivocal for the recovery rate. Lyapunov coefficients may be more precise succession indicators than biodiversity indexes, representing the amount of exergy needed for a vegetation state to reach the reference condition.