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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

The recovery rates of secondary savannas in abandoned pastures are poorly explained by environmental and landscape factors

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Cava, Mario G. B. [1] ; Pilon, Natashi A. L. [2] ; Priante, Camila F. [3] ; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar [3] ; Durigan, Giselda [2, 4]
Total Authors: 5
[1] UNESP Univ Estadual Paulista, Dept Ciencia Florestal, Botucatu, SP - Brazil
[2] Univ Estadual Campinas, Inst Biol, Campinas, SP - Brazil
[3] UNESP Univ Estadual Paulista, Dept Ecol, Rio Claro, SP - Brazil
[4] Inst Florestal Estado Sao Paulo, Floresta Estadual Assis, Assis, SP - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 4
Document type: Journal article
Source: APPLIED VEGETATION SCIENCE; v. 23, n. 1 OCT 2019.
Web of Science Citations: 0

Question Assessing the natural regeneration potential of degraded savannas is a crucial step in restoration planning, since that assessment will define the need for and costs of active intervention. Predicting natural regeneration, however, depends on the mechanistic understanding of ecosystem resilience. Here, we searched for the factors modulating plant communities spontaneously regenerating in abandoned pastures. Location Tropical savanna (cerrado), Brazil. Methods Over two years, we quantified changes in the structure, richness and species composition of plant communities in 29 secondary savannas resulting from pasture abandonment. We then investigated the influence of soil and landscape attributes, exotic grass cover and time since pasture abandonment on the recovery rate and species composition of these communities. Results The wide variation among sites was not explained by time since abandonment or distance to the nearest remnant native vegetation. Soil attributes, exotic grasses and native vegetation cover around a pasture explained a small fraction of the variation in the recovery rate. We did not find an isolated factor or a robust set of factors explaining the variation in the recovery rate for all vegetation attributes. Species composition was slightly influenced by exotic grasses, soil penetration resistance, proportion of fine soil particles and time since abandonment. Colonization and resprouting by savanna specialists over the two-year period were hindered by exotic grasses. Conclusion The use of predictive models based on soil properties, exotic grasses, landscape attributes or time since abandonment is unfeasible for inferring the recovery rate of savanna structure and richness after pasture abandonment. Case-by-case monitoring is required to support decisions on restoration intervention. Other factors, which are almost impossible to obtain, such as land-use practices and history and the taxonomic or functional composition of pre-existing vegetation, can potentially influence the recovery rate. Exotic grasses must be controlled to favour colonization and resprouting by savanna specialists. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 16/17888-2 - Effects of prescribed burning and frost on plant diversity and structure in Cerrado ground layer
Grantee:Natashi Aparecida Lima Pilon
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
FAPESP's process: 13/50421-2 - New sampling methods and statistical tools for biodiversity research: integrating animal movement ecology with population and community ecology
Grantee:Milton Cezar Ribeiro
Support type: Regular Research Grants
FAPESP's process: 15/23131-9 - Diagnosis and conditioning factors of the Cerrado vegetation resilience in abandoned pastures
Grantee:Mário Guilherme de Biagi Cava
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate