Forestry Institute of Sao Paulo State

Assis, Brazil

Forestry Institute of Sao Paulo State

Assis, Brazil
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Schweizer D.,University of Sao Paulo | Machado R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Durigan G.,Forestry Institute of Sao Paulo State | Brancalion P.H.S.,University of Sao Paulo
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2015

Phylogenetic ecology complements trait-based analysis on community assembly by considering that species are not independent units but are related to each other by their evolutionary history. Phylogenetic patterns clustered when there are more close relatives than expected by chance or overdispersed with less close relatives than expected. Patterns among species in a community indicate underlying biotic and abiotic processes acting on species functional traits. However, phylogenetic ecology has seldom been applied to forest restoration. We used floristic and abundance data from six forest restoration sites of different ages and four old-growth reference forests in the Brazilian Atlantic forest to evaluate similarities in phylogenetic patterns between restoration and reference forests as a measure of restoration success. The presence of an initial tree canopy in restoration forests conducted by planting species increases seed dispersal. Nevertheless, we expected random phylogenetic patterns early in restoration due to dispersal limitation in a highly fragmented landscape. As time since planting increases and in reference forests, we expected less of an effect of dispersal on community composition and more of an effect of negative biotic interactions among close relatives to lead to overdispersed patterns. We did not find a clear trajectory showing that restoration sites would resemble the phylogenetic patterns of reference sites with age since planting. We found significant clustering patterns in two sites, the oldest restoration site and one reference forest. The other reference forests showed, non-significant yet clustering tendencies. The functional traits studied were less conserved than expected by chance, therefore, we cannot relate clustering to be solely the result of environmental filters leading to the presence of close relatives with similar habitat requirements. The presence of closely related species in the Meliaceae family in reference forests and in the oldest restoration site, which was next to a forest remnant, points toward dispersal as the main factor driving phylogenetic patterns in the sites studied. Despite the use of a high number of planted species, differences in the composition of planted species among sites also affected the observed phylogenetic structure. We believe that phylogenetic ecology complements floristic studies by providing information on trait conservatism and shedding light on community assembly processes that affect the successional trajectory of restoration forest. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Mendonca A.H.,University of Sao Paulo | Russo C.,University of Sao Paulo | Melo A.C.G.,Forestry Institute of Sao Paulo State | Durigan G.,Forestry Institute of Sao Paulo State
Plant Ecology and Diversity | Year: 2015

Background: Although impacts of edge effects on forest ecosystems are well known, their consequences on savannas have rarely been explored. Aims: To investigate the influence of edge effects on the plant community and microclimate of a cerrado fragment in south-eastern Brazil. Methods: Several plant community variables (density, basal area, richness and cover by each vegetation layer) and microclimatic variables (light, air temperature and humidity), were measured in 10 transects across a savanna fragment surrounded by exotic grasses, and were used to fit semi-parametric models relating these variables with the distance from the habitat edge. Results: Differences in microclimate and tree communities were poorly related to distance from the edge. On the other hand, there were detectable edge effects on the ground layer community (i.e. plants less than 50 cm in height). Edges had a negative effect on native plants of this layer (density and richness of all species and cover of native grasses), while favouring invasive grasses. Conclusions: Unlike reports for edge effects in forest ecosystems, microclimate does not explain changes in this cerrado fragment. The most significant edge effect threatening the conservation of cerrado vegetation is the widespread invasion by African grasses. Starting from the fragment borders, this invasion causes changes in the structure and composition of the native plant community, thus jeopardising the population dynamics and persistence of native species. © 2015 Botanical Society of Scotland and Taylor & Francis.


Durigan G.,Forestry Institute of Sao Paulo State | Suganuma M.S.,Forestry Institute of Sao Paulo State | Suganuma M.S.,University of Sao Paulo
Restoration Ecology | Year: 2015

The absence of species composition among the indicators of restoration success, recommended for the Brazilian Atlantic Forest by Suganuma and Durigan, was criticized by Reid. In his critic, Reid argues that species composition can be (1) predictable from site history and restoration technique and (2) a surrogate for poor ecosystem functioning and lack of resilience. We disagree on the deterministic view behind the first argument, and the latter is still controversial. Even though, we recommended richness as a good indicator of ecosystem functioning instead of composition-which depends on the exhaustive labor of botanical identification. © 2015 Society for Ecological Restoration.


de Abreu R.C.R.,University of Sao Paulo | Durigan G.,University of Sao Paulo | Durigan G.,Forestry Institute of Sao Paulo State
Plant Ecology and Diversity | Year: 2011

Background: The invasion by Pinus elliottii is one of the most serious threats to the remaining native cerrado vegetation in São Paulo State, Brazil, causing biodiversity losses yet to be evaluated. We conducted a study in an area where P. elliottii began establishing in 1988. Aims: To estimate diversity losses in the plant community and to understand the floristic and structural changes resulting from pine tree invasion of grassland savannah. Methods: All plants taller than 50 cm were sampled in 35 plots (64 m 2 each) within an area densely invaded by P. elliottii and in 10 plots in non-invaded grassland savannah. Density, species richness, diversity, ground cover and spatial distribution were compared by Wilcoxon tests, non-metric multidimensional scaling and Payandeh indices. Results: Twenty-two years after the arrival of the first invasive trees (founders), the grassland savannah has become a dense pine forest with 12,455 individuals ha -1, a basal area of 26.44 m 2 ha -1, a sparse native woody understory comprised of 16 species (H' = 0.44), density of 1210 individuals ha -1 and the herbaceous layer totally absent. Conclusions: Invasion by Pinus elliottii has completely changed the structure of the grassland savannah and caused severe plant diversity losses. Native species surviving the invasion in the understory do not typically represent the previous composition and functional traits of the native vegetation. © 2011 Botanical Society of Scotland and Taylor & Francis.


Abreu R.C.R.D.,University of Sao Paulo | de Assis G.B.,São Paulo State University | Frison S.,São Paulo State University | Aguirre A.,University of Sao Paulo | And 2 more authors.
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2011

There is a widespread view that forest plantations with exotic species are green deserts, unable to sustain biodiversity. Few studies have demonstrated, however, that planted stands of exotic trees have a greater negative effect on the plant diversity of savanna vegetation. We compared the native woody flora under four stands of slash pine of about 45. years old with four stands where the previously existing native Cerrado vegetation was preserved and protected from disturbances for the same period, has changed into dense vegetation - the " cerradão" at Assis municipality, São Paulo State, Brazil. Aiming at understanding the potential ecological filters driving these communities, we assessed air and soil humidity, light availability and classified the native species on the basis of shade tolerance, dispersal syndrome and biomes in which they occur (Atlantic Forest or Cerrado). We recorded an average of 70 (±13) species under pine stands and 54 (±16) species in cerradão. Of the total of 136 species recorded, 78 occurred in both habitats, eight were exclusive to the " cerradão" (shade tolerant and also occurring in forest ecosystems) and 18 were recorded only under pine stands (82% heliophytic, exclusive to the Cerrado biome). Among the functional attributes and abiotic variables analyzed, only light availability explained the floristic differences found. Since richness was higher under pine, we refuted the hypothesis that exotic species constrain the establishment of the native species richness in the understory. On the other hand, the dark environment under the closed-canopy of the " cerradão" acts as a filter inhibiting the establishment of typical Cerrado species. Since pine stands, if managed in long cycle, maintain a reasonable pool of Cerrado endemic species in the understory pine plantations may be a good starting point for savanna restoration. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Abreu R.C.R.D.,University of Sao Paulo | Santos F.F.D.M.,University of Brasilia | Durigan G.,Forestry Institute of Sao Paulo State
Acta Oecologica | Year: 2014

The recognition of a species as invasive is generally accepted when it comes from another continent or even from another country, but requires strong evidences of negative impacts to support control actions when the invasive species comes from another region in the same country. Schyzolobium parahyba - the 'guapuruvu', is a Brazilian tree native from the evergreen type of the Atlantic Forest, which has been recorded as invader in a number of remnants of the Seasonally Semideciduous Forest - SSF. We hypothesized that this giant and fast growing invasive tree changes the structure and composition of the understory, thus impairing the forest dynamics. We assessed the invasive population in the whole fragment, and, within the portion invaded, we sampled the regenerating plant community 1) under the largest alien trees, 2) under a native species with similar ecology (Peltophorum dubium), and 3) randomly in the forest. Density, basal area and richness under S.parahyba were remarkably lower than under the equivalent native species or in the understory as a whole. Floristic composition of the plant community was also distinct under S.parahyba, possibly due to increased competition for soil water. Even though the alien species has occupied, as yet, a small proportion of the forest fragment, it dominates the overstory and threatens the regeneration processes under its canopy. In view of our findings, we recommend extirpation of the species from SSF, as well as avoiding cultivation of the species away from its native range. © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS.


Suganuma M.S.,Forestry Institute of Sao Paulo State | Suganuma M.S.,University of Sao Paulo | Durigan G.,Forestry Institute of Sao Paulo State
Restoration Ecology | Year: 2015

Forest restoration by planting trees often accelerates succession, but the trajectories toward reference ecosystems have rarely been evaluated. Using a chronosequence (4-53 years) of 26 riparian forest undergoing restoration in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, we modeled how the variables representing forest structure, tree species richness and composition, and the proportion of plant functional guilds change through time. We also estimated the time required for these variables to reach different types of reference ecosystems: old-growth forest (OGF), degraded forest, and secondary forest. Among the attributes which follow a predictable trajectory over time are: the basal area, canopy cover, density and tree species richness, as well as proportions of shade tolerant and slow growing species or individuals. Most of the variation in density of pteridophythes, lianas, shrubs and phorophythes, proportion of animal-dispersed individuals, rarefied richness and floristic similarity with reference ecosystems remain unexplained. Estimated time to reach the reference ecosystems is, in general, shorter for structural attributes than for species composition or proportion of functional guilds. The length of this time varies among the three types of reference ecosystems for most attributes. For instance, tree species richness and proportion of shade tolerant or slow growing individuals become similar to secondary forests in about 40 years, but is estimated to take 70 years or more to reach the OGF. Of all the variables considered, canopy cover, basal area, density, and richness of the understory-by their ecological relevance and predictability-are recommended as ecological indicators for monitoring tropical forest restoration success. © 2014 Society for Ecological Restoration.


Podadera D.S.,São Paulo State University | Engel V.L.,São Paulo State University | Parrotta J.A.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Machado D.L.,São Paulo State University | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Management | Year: 2015

Exotic species are used to trigger facilitation in restoration plantings, but this positive effect may not be permanent and these species may have negative effects later on. Since such species can provide a marketable product (firewood), their harvest may represent an advantageous strategy to achieve both ecological and economic benefits. In this study, we looked at the effect of removal of a non-native tree species (Mimosa caesalpiniifolia) on the understory of a semideciduous forest undergoing restoration. We assessed two 14-year-old plantation systems (modified “taungya” agroforestry system; and mixed plantation using commercial timber and firewood tree species) established at two sites with contrasting soil properties in São Paulo state, Brazil. The experimental design included randomized blocks with split plots. The natural regeneration of woody species (height ≥0.2 m) was compared between managed (all M. caesalpiniifolia trees removed) and unmanaged plots during the first year after the intervention. The removal of M. caesalpiniifolia increased species diversity but decreased stand basal area. Nevertheless, the basal area loss was recovered after 1 year. The management treatment affected tree species regeneration differently between species groups. The results of this study suggest that removal of M. caesalpiniifolia benefited the understory and possibly accelerated the succession process. Further monitoring studies are needed to evaluate the longer term effects on stand structure and composition. The lack of negative effects of tree removal on the natural regeneration indicates that such interventions can be recommended, especially considering the expectations of economic revenues from tree harvesting in restoration plantings. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media New York


Durigan G.,Forestry Institute of Sao Paulo State | Ratter J.A.,Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Journal of Applied Ecology | Year: 2016

The Cerrado is a fire-dependent savanna requiring a clear and urgent fire management policy. The extensive misuse of fire for deforestation or pasture management in Brazil has created an overall perception that its use is always deleterious. This view, reinforced by threats of global warming and climatic change, has lead to current policies of fire suppression. Cerrado ecosystems depend on the historical fire regime to maintain their structure, biodiversity and functioning. The suppression of fire has transformed savanna vegetation into forests, causing biodiversity losses and drastic changes in ecological processes. Policy implications. The National Fire Policy required by law must be urgently implemented in Brazil, including use of fire for Cerrado conservation in public and private lands on the basis of existing knowledge of indigenous people and scientists. Objective regulations on prescribed burning, land manager training, incentives for fire research and experimentation and a broad campaign to disseminate the benefits of fire for Cerrado conservation should be the cornerstones of the policy. If implemented, the policy can give the biodiversity of the Cerrado a future that has previously been severely threatened by fire suppression. © 2016 British Ecological Society.


PubMed | São Paulo State University, Forestry Institute of Sao Paulo State and U.S. Department of Agriculture
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Environmental management | Year: 2015

Exotic species are used to trigger facilitation in restoration plantings, but this positive effect may not be permanent and these species may have negative effects later on. Since such species can provide a marketable product (firewood), their harvest may represent an advantageous strategy to achieve both ecological and economic benefits. In this study, we looked at the effect of removal of a non-native tree species (Mimosa caesalpiniifolia) on the understory of a semideciduous forest undergoing restoration. We assessed two 14-year-old plantation systems (modified taungya agroforestry system; and mixed plantation using commercial timber and firewood tree species) established at two sites with contrasting soil properties in So Paulo state, Brazil. The experimental design included randomized blocks with split plots. The natural regeneration of woody species (height 0.2m) was compared between managed (all M. caesalpiniifolia trees removed) and unmanaged plots during the first year after the intervention. The removal of M. caesalpiniifolia increased species diversity but decreased stand basal area. Nevertheless, the basal area loss was recovered after 1year. The management treatment affected tree species regeneration differently between species groups. The results of this study suggest that removal of M. caesalpiniifolia benefited the understory and possibly accelerated the succession process. Further monitoring studies are needed to evaluate the longer term effects on stand structure and composition. The lack of negative effects of tree removal on the natural regeneration indicates that such interventions can be recommended, especially considering the expectations of economic revenues from tree harvesting in restoration plantings.

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