A model for the importance of large arborescent palms in the dynamics of seasonally-dry amazonian forests
Keywords:Amazon, Attalea maripa, forest dynamics, palm trees, regeneration
AbstractIn this study we propose a model that represents the importance of large arborescent palms in the dynamics of seasonally-dry Amazonian forests. Specifically, the model is aimed at guiding the investigation of the role of large arborescent palms on forest regeneration and succession. Following disturbance, the high level of luminosity reaching recently formed forest gaps favors the quick proliferation of shade-intolerant lianas that, by casting shade on the crowns of mature forest trees and increasing tree-fall probability, suppress forest succession. Due to their columnar architecture palm trees are, however, not severely affected by vines. As the palms grow, the canopy at the gaps becomes gradually higher and denser, progressively obstructing the passage of light, thus hindering the growth of shade-intolerant lianas and enabling late-successional tree development and forest regeneration. Owing to the long time associated with forest regeneration, the model cannot be tested directly, but aspects of it were examined with field data collected at an Attalea maripa-rich secondary forest patch within a matrix of well-preserved seasonally-dry forest in the Southeastern Amazon. The results indicate that (1) forest disturbance is important for the recruitment of large arborescent palms species, (2) these palms can grow rapidly after an event of disturbance, restoring forest canopy height and density, and (3) secondary forest dominated by palm trees species may be floristically similar to nearby undisturbed forests, supporting the hypothesis that the former has undergone regeneration, as purported in the model.
How to Cite
A model for the importance of large arborescent palms in the dynamics of seasonally-dry amazonian forests. (2005). Biota Neotropica, 5(2). Retrieved from https://www.biotaneotropica.org.br/BN/article/view/152