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Influence of canopy cover by lianas on the seed bank of a disturbed fragment of semideciduous forest

Grant number: 16/10225-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2016
Effective date (End): July 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Valéria Forni Martins
Grantee:Ana Carolina Rosalin
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Agrárias (CCA). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). Araras , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Agricultural expansion, urban development and other types of anthropogenic disturbance have resulted in intense fragmentation of the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest. The natural regeneration process inside these fragments is imperilled by hyperabundant lianas that compete with and damage adult trees. Additionally, canopy cover by hyperabundant lianas may act as both a selective filter of seed species and decrease the number of propagules that reach the soil, thus altering the seed rain and seed bank. The goals of this study are to characterize the seed rain of a disturbed fragment of Semideciduous Forest in SE Brazil and evaluate how canopy cover by lianas alter the seed bank of tree species at the study site. To do so, we have collected shallow soil at 26 points inside the fragment and placed the soil samples in a greenhouse. The germination of seeds will be observed for six months. We have also estimated the degree of canopy cover by lianas at each sampling point. We will perform rarefaction analyses in order to compare the richness of tree species among the different degrees of canopy cover. Last, we will compare the abundance of tree species among the degrees of canopy cover by lianas with ANOVAs. Our expectation is that both richness and abundance of seeds belonging to tree species that are incorporated in the soil decrease as canopy cover by lianas increase.