Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
The aim of this research was to contribute on the understanding of the floral diversity of grasslands in Cummo Huacullani, south Puno, in Peru. The Method of Parker 3-Step transects was used to assess the flora during 2016, and fourteen (14) transects were evaluated. Following, in 2020 four (4) Whitaker plots were established to assess the flora and the soil nutrients. Furthermore, a focus group and two interviews were developed in 2020 to understand the uses of plants, management of grasslands and climate change perceptions of Cummo Huacullani settlers. In 2016, 133 species of vascular plants were registered; weeds and palatable species were identified as well as richness, diversity, phylogeny, and condition of the grassland (Chapter 1). Photographs of 90 species were used to develop a field guide that was used during the focus group and interviews. The dominant species of the area was identified as Festuca dolichophylla and described in detail in Chapter 2. In 2020, 61 species of vascular plants were registered. These results were compared with the first inventory, to identify the change of species due to a fire presented months before the evaluation (Chapter 3). Twenty-five (25) new species were added to the previous records and 20 species were identified as possible fire-sensitive species. Additionally, the relationship of plant species with soil nutrients and diversity indicators was identified (Chapter 4). Nitrogen in the soil and pH were the main drivers of the grassland plant cover as well as phylogenetic diversity and richness. The results of the focus group and interviews revealed that the main use of plants in the area is for medicinal purposes. The main management practice in the grasslands is cattle rotation and the main climate change adaptation is early plantation based on climate and Phyto-signs observation (Chapter 5).
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