Analysis of spontaneous vegetation in semi-arid cattle fields of the middle valley of Río Negro.
The advance of the agricultural frontier in the north of Río Negro led to the land on the plateau being used for dryland livestock production. Livestock practices such as these result in an ecological imbalance that involves the spontaneous plant species in the scrublands. In this study, the species that grow spontaneously in this area were identified, as well as their specific richness and distribution. The native species were related to cattle consumption and the exotic species to toxic potential. The Sörensen similarity index was calculated to express the degree of similarity between the sites. The study area included 59 families, 197 genera and 300 species of vascular plants. The most representative families being the Asteraceae, Poaceae, Fabaceae, Solanaceae, Verbenaceae and Chenopodiaceae. The highest percentage of species consumed were native and 66% of the exotic species are potentially toxic to cattle. The Riparian Zone presented a greater number of exotic species. The highest similarity was between the Plateau Plain and the Foot of Escarpment. The information provided is a basis for evaluative studies between dryland cattle production and plant conservation in the Middle Valley of Río Negro.