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Ten years from propagule to mature plant of Butia purpurascens Glassman (Arecaceae): an endemic and endangered palm of the Brazilian Cerrado

  • Ressel, K.
  • Guilherme, F. A. G.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2022
Scientific Electronic Library Online - Brazil
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Abstract With occurrence mainly in the southwest Goiás, Butia purpurascens has fruits and leaves widely extracted by the regional population. Coexists with exotic grasses, frequent burnings and cattle’s grazing and trampling. Young individuals are rarely seen. We aim to provide information about propagules, seedling formation and the monitoring of saplings of B. purpurascens until adults in reproductive phase. Fruits were selected, measured and benefited after harvest. Of 6,000 fruits collected 3,112 were discarded for being perforated by Conotrachelus weevils. The experiment divided 2,600 fruits into 13 treatments, distributed in ripe and immature fruits, with and without pulp. In addition, we adopt mechanical and chemical break dormancy mechanisms, different storage periods and seeding depths. After sixteen months of monitoring, the formation of eleven seedlings was obtained without distinction of any treatment. Seedlings and saplings developed slowly, taking two years to emit the first metaphyll. Over time, ten individuals died, most from fungal attack. After ten years, the only surviving palm generated two inflorescences, which produced fruit. The inefficient seedling production and the slow development of saplings, combined with the impact of the extractivism and the high rate of predation of the pyrenes, suggest the low recruitment rate of the species observed, in natural conditions. This type of data is one of the important tools for creating guidelines for the species conservation. Therefore, we suggest considering the reclassification of B. purpurascens as a Critically Endangered species in the Official List of Threatened Brazilian Species of Extinction.

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