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Post-fire dynamics of woody vegetation in seasonally flooded forests (impucas) in the Cerrado-Amazonian Forest transition zone

Authors
  • Maracahipes, Leandro
  • Marimon, Beatriz Schwantes
  • Lenza, Eddie
  • Marimon-Junior, Ben Hur
  • Oliveira, Edmar Almeida de
  • Mews, Henrique Augusto
  • Gomes, Letícia
  • Feldpausch, Ted R.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Flora
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2014
Accepted Date
Feb 24, 2014
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.flora.2014.02.008
Source
Elsevier
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Fire disturbance alters the structural complexity of forests, above-ground biomass stocks and patterns of growth, recruitment and mortality that determine temporal dynamics of communities. These changes may alter also forest species composition, richness, and diversity. We compared changes in plant recruitment, mortality, and turnover time over three years between burned and unburned sites of two seasonally flooded natural forest patches in a predominantly savanna landscape (regionally called ‘impucas’) in order to determine how fire alters forest dynamics and species composition. Within each impuca, 50 permanent plots (20×10m) were established and all individuals≥5cm diameter at breast height (DBH) identified and measured in two censuses, the first in 2007 and the second in 2010. Unplanned fires burned 30 plots in impuca 1 and 35 in impuca 2 after the first census, which enabled thereafter the comparison between burned and unburned sites. The highest mortality (8.0 and 24.3% year−1 for impuca 1 and 2) and turnover time (69 and 121.5 years) were observed in the burned sites, compared to 3.7 and 5.2% year−1 (mortality), and 28.4 and 40.9 years (turnover), respectively, for the unburned sites. Although these seasonally flooded impuca forests are embedded in a fire-adapted savanna landscape, the impucas vegetation appears to be sensitive to fire, with burned areas having higher mortality and turnover than unburned areas. This indicates that these forest islands are potentially at risk if regional fire frequency increases. © 2014 Elsevier GmbH

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