Title

Dynamic equilibrium and decelerating growth of a seasonal Neotropical gallery forest in the Brazilian savanna

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Roitman, I, Vanclay, JK, Hay, JD & Felfili, JM 2016, 'Dynamic equilibrium and decelerating growth of a seasonal Neotropical gallery forest in the Brazilian savanna', Journal of Tropical Ecology, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 193-200.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S026646741600016X

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Describing and understanding growth patterns in tropical forests is crucial to assessing their role in carbon balance. Growth and vital rates of a protected gallery forest in central Brazil were estimated, based on six measurement intervals between 1985 and 2009. The sample consisted of all stems > or = 10 cm diameter at breast height measured in 151 permanent plots (10 × 20 m), distributed in 10 transects perpendicular to the watercourse and 100 m apart from each other. Statistical significance of changes in density, basal area, growth and vital rates were tested using Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. Vital rates oscillated during the study period. Growth, recruitment and turnover rates fluctuated, but had a net decrease over the whole study period, whereas mortality seemed to be affected by a high disturbance event during the 1994-1999 period. The oscillatory behaviour of growth suggests that the forest is pulsating around a stable state (dynamic equilibrium). Nonetheless, persistence of decelerating growth trends may force the site's carrying capacity to a lower density or biomass state.