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Revista Árvore

Print version ISSN 0100-6762


SAMPAIO, Alexandre Bonesso  and  SCARIOT, Aldicir. Edge effect on tree diversity, composition and structure in a deciduous dry forest in Central Brazil. Rev. Árvore [online]. 2011, vol.35, n.5, pp.1121-1134. ISSN 0100-6762.

The effects of edge distance on the structure, composition and diversity of tree community, considering individuals of all size classes, were studied in a well-preserved fragment of deciduous dry forest in northeastern Goiás state, Brazil. Plots were systematically established at six distances (0, 40, 80, 160, 280 and 400 m) from the edge, over 10 orthogonal transects on the forest-pasture edge. It was sampled 602 adult individuals/ha, 8,927 saplings/ha and 54,167 seedlings/ha distributed in 58 species. Although the composition of seedlings and adult individuals varied significantly over the forest-pasture gradient, the variation explained by edge distance was below 4%. Among parameters of community structure and tested diversity indexes, there was significant variation only for diversity of seedlings and height of adult trees among forest-pasture edge distances. The dry forest fragment showed only a slight edge effect on the evaluated tree community parameters. This conclusion contrasts with findings from studies on tropical rain forests which indicate sharp differences between edge and interior tree communities in forest fragments.

Keywords : Biodiversity conservation; Forest fragmentation; Seasonal forest.

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