Editors' Choice Paper of the first quarter of 2023

18 April 2023

The first 2023 article published in the Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS) journal to receive the quarterly “Editors’ Choice” recognition is the research paper “Modeling the potential distribution of floristic assemblages of high Andean wetlands dominated by Juncaceae and Cyperaceae in the Argentine Puna”, authored by Elvira Casagranda, PhD student at Universidad Nacional de Tucumán (Argentina), and Dr Andrea E. Izquierdo, senior researcher at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (Argentina).

In their study, the team studied the vegas of Argentina, a very peculiar wetland vegetation of the high elevations of the Andes and particularly the Altiplano, at elevations of 3,300-5,000 m a.s.l. The vegas are dominated by graminoids forming dense cushions, embedded in which various tiny forbs can live.

Vegas are high Andean wetlands that represent the main sequestered carbon stocks, biodiversity hotspots, and water regulating systems in the region,” point out the scientists in their paper. “In these wetlands, plant communities are the main biological factor that determines functional processes, and plant species assemblages are associated with different ecogeographic features.”

Having applied species distribution modeling (SDM) techniques, the team was able to predict the occurrence of the two main vegas types well throughout the Argentinean Andes. These are dominated by either Juncaceae (Oxychloe andina, Distichia muscoides) or Cyperaceae (Eleocharis pseudoalbibracteata, Zameioscirpus atacamensis).

“This paper demonstrates the merit of transferring a statistical technique from a neighboring field to vegetation typology,” comment the VCS' Editors-in-Chief.

The research article by Elvira Casagranda and Dr Andrea E. Izquierdo is part of the Neotropical vegetation special collection, launched by the IAVS regional section “Latin America and the Caribbean” in the VCS journal. The completion of the collection - which will also be featuring a special Editorial by guest editors Gwendolyn Peyre (Universidad de los Andes, Colombia), Dr Bianca Andrade (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil), Prof Jose Alejandro Velazques Montes (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico) and Prof Melisa A. Giorgis (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina) - is expected in mid-2023.


You can read further comments and insights by Elvira and Andrea in their guest contribution now available on the IAVS blog.


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