Relief influence on tree species richness in secondary forest fragments of Atlantic Forest, SE, Brazil
Silva,William Goulart da
Catharino,Eduardo Luís Martins
- Publisher: Sociedade Botânica do Brasil
relief | tree species richness and composition | Atlantic Forest | land use
The aim of this work was to explore the relationship between tree species richness and morphological characteristics of relief at the Ibiúna Plateau (SE Brazil). We sampled 61 plots of 0.30 ha, systematically established in 20 fragments of secondary forest (2-274 ha) and in three areas within a continuous secondary forest site, Morro Grande Reserve (9,400 ha). At each plot, 100 trees with diameter at breast height > 5 cm were sampled by the point centered quarter method, and total richness and richness per dispersal and succession class were obtained. The relief was characterized by the mean and variance of slope, elevation, aspect and slope location. There was no significant relationship between relief heterogeneity and tree species richness. Relief parameters generally did not affect tree richness, but elevation was particularly important especially in the continuous forest. Despite the limited range of altitudinal variation (150 m), species richness increases with elevation. The highest areas were also those with the largest forest cover and the lowest disturbance degree, which should contribute to the greater richness of those sites. Our results suggest an indirect influence of relief, due to the fact that deforestation is less intense in higher regions, rather than a direct influence of abiotic factors related to the altitudinal gradient.