Tree succession across a seasonally dry tropical forest and forest-savanna ecotone in northern Minas Gerais, Brazil

Coelho, Polyanne A., Santos, Paola Ferreira, Paula, Eduardo de Paiva, Apgaua, Deborah M.G., Madeira, Bruno Gini, de Oliveira Menino, Gisele Cristina, Ferreira Nunes, Yule Roberta, Santos, Rubens M., and Tng, David Y.P. (2017) Tree succession across a seasonally dry tropical forest and forest-savanna ecotone in northern Minas Gerais, Brazil. Journal of Plant Ecology, 10 (5). pp. 859-868.

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Aims: Understanding succession in tropical forest is an important aspect of vegetation science, but to date, successional processes in seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs) have received much less attention than evergreen humid tropical forests. We aim to fill this knowledge gap.

Methods: We investigated vegetation succession in SDTF areas consisting of three different successional stages (early, intermediate, late), and a SDTF-savanna ecotone in the municipal district of Juramento, north of Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Using twelve 400 m(2) plots in each area, we compared vegetation parameters and structural variables (absolute density and basal area) and examined the floristic composition of the tree component to find gradients of change.

Important Findings: We found evidence of species turnover along a successional gradient, with the intermediate stage showing the highest species richness and diversity. This was accompanied with a significant increase in the number of tree individuals and basal area from the early to intermediate successional stage. However, the intermediate and late SDTF successional stages were more similar in structure and floristics. The ecotone was the most species rich and was similar to the intermediate SDTF and early successional stage in species richness and floristic composition respectively. These results will have implications for guiding SDTF management and recovery programs.

Item ID: 51956
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1752-993X
Keywords: caatinga, floristic similarity, ecotone, forest succession, resilience
Funders: Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Australian Endeavour Program (AEP)
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2018 07:51
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4102 Ecological applications > 410206 Landscape ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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