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Mortality and recruitment of trees in a secondary montane rain forest in Southeastern Brazil

Author(s): Gomes E. P. C. | Mantovani W. | Kageyama P. Y.

Journal: Brazilian Journal of Biology
ISSN 1519-6984

Volume: 63;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 47;
Date: 2003;
Original page

Keywords: forest dynamics | mortality | recruitment | rain forest | ecological groups

Mortality and recruitment rates were obtained for tree species over a 5.6 year period in a 1-ha fragment of secondary montane rain forest in Southeastern Brazil. All plants with a diameter at breast height (dbh) > 8 cm were sampled in 1989-1990 and 1995. There was an increase from 90 to 96 species, and 669 ind./ha to 749 ind./ha over the period. The mortality rate of 1.67%/yr was similar to findings for other forests, while recruitment of 3.46%/yr was the highest rate reported. Both mortality and recruitment were significantly higher in the smaller dbh classes. Recruitment was higher among rare species, and the relatively slow-growing species had significantly higher mortality rates. Differences between species dynamics were marked. Species with high values of l were mainly early successional and understorey trees but some understorey species also suffered a marked population decline. The classification system of species in response to light which divides understorey species into "partial shade-bearers" and "shade-bearers" groups showed to be the most suitable to the obtained results. The results suggest that this forest is undergoing a process of recovery from past disturbance.
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