LARGE TREES DRIVING NEIGHBOURHOOD ASSEMBLY THROUGH SIMULTANEOUS FACILITATIVE AND COMPETITIVE EFFECTS IN A WOODLAND SAVANNA

Authors

  • Oliveira-Neto NE

Keywords:

Function traits, functional diversity, functional composition, community-weighted mean, competition process

Abstract

Large trees are key components of forest communities and can influence several ecosystem processes. Moreover, in the savannas where mainly light is not a limiting factor in plant growth, the effects of large trees in plant community as facilitators or promoting local competition are still unclear. For the purpose of the study, 9 plots of 100 m2 were demarcated in a savanna woodland situated in a conservation unit and without fire register in Brazil. Plots were delimited surrounding large trees with different size diameter and all the
structural and functional traits were measured in the surrounding community. A total of 395 plants were sampled and recorded in 73 species and 32 botanical families. The study found that large trees were associated with higher litter deposition and the dominance of forest species with shallow crowns, higher wood density and leaf nitrogen content and lower specific leaf area. These results indicated that large trees could facilitate shade-tolerant species in increasing competition for light with shade-intolerant species. Therefore, large trees could contribute to forest tree species conservation in savanna environments, allowing the coexistence of forest and savanna species at local scale.

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Published

2022-08-02

Issue

Section

Articles