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Wednesday, April 11 • 2:00pm - 2:15pm
HABITAT FRAGMENTATION/CONNECTIVITY: Effects of neotropical savanna fragmentation on the reproductive dynamics of a key tree species

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AUTHORS: Andrea Santos Garcia*, Center of Nuclear Energy in Agriculture, University of São Paulo, and Global Landscape Initiative, Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota; Ângela Lúcia Bagnatori Sartori, Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul; Maria Victoria Ramos Ballester, Center of Nuclear Energy in Agriculture, University of São Paulo

ABSTRACT: Land use change impacts ecological processes due to both the modification of the biophysical component of the landscape and the interference on ecological interactions. Such impacts are well studied in temperate and tropical rain forests, but still poorly addressed in Neotropical Savannas -South America's second largest biome. In this study we aimed to estimate the effects of landscape changes on the reproductive activity of trees. We monitored 52 trees of the Hymenaea stignocarpa species in an area of 2000 ha for one year to analyse phenology, flowering and fruiting activity. This species presents a post-zygotic self-incompatibility and is highly associated with local fauna; thus, fruiting is not a direct product of flowering. The analysed population presented a marked reproductive seasonality. Flowering in edge areas was concentrated in January while in core areas it was in April. But no differences in seasonality between trees located in the fragment core and edge were observed for fruiting. We observed a significantly larger number of trees flowering outside core areas compared to those located inside it. However, overall fruiting activity rates also did not significantly differ between core and edge areas. Reproductive activity was related to landscape characteristics such as the distance to a fragment edge or canopy density. Larger trees located in areas with lower vegetation density were most likely to flower. On the other hand, trees surrounded by higher number of co-specifics and near forest edges were most likely to bear fruit. We argue that flowering and fruiting activity are directly or indirectly related to landscape characteristics and thus, varied spatially. Reproduction activities are dependent on the physiology of each plant. However, flowering is also modelled by availability of light while fruiting is modelled by disperser behaviour. Finally, we emphasize that attention should be paid to such patterns when managing multifunctional landscapes due to the importance of reproduction patterns in biodiversity maintenance.

Wednesday April 11, 2018 2:00pm - 2:15pm CDT
Hancock Parlor

Attendees (6)