Hiperabundant lianas can hinder the regeneration of degraded forests by altering important demographic rates of seedlings. As a result of competition, lianas can decrease growth and recruitment rates, and increase mortality of seedlings of tree species. However, the demographic rates can also be negatively influenced by competition between seedlings and by asymmetric competition with large trees. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of the degree of liana canopy cover on demographic rates of tree seedlings in a degraded fragment of Semideciduous Forest in the State of São Paulo, SE Brazil. In order to determine the exclusive effects of lianas, we will also evaluate the influence of competition between seedlings and of asymmetric competition with large trees on the demographic rates. Growth and recruitment rates should decrease, and mortality rates should increase as the density of seedlings and adults increases, as well as the distance between seedlings and adults decreases. Excluding these effects, we expect to show negative impacts on the demographic rates as the degree of liana canopy cover increases. We will compare the demographic rates among the different degrees of liana canopy cover with an ANOVA. We will also perform a multiple regression analysis in order to evaluate how each demographic rate relates to the density of seedlings, the distance to the nearest adult tree and the density of trees around seedlings.
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