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Brazilian Journal of Botany

Print version ISSN 0100-8404On-line version ISSN 1806-9959


DURIGAN, GISELDA; FRANCO, GERALDO ANTÔNIO DAHER CORRÊA; SAITO, MASAHIRO  and  BAITELLO, JOÃO BATISTA. Structure and diversity of the arboreal component of the forest at Caetetus Ecological Station, Gália, SP. Rev. bras. Bot. [online]. 2000, vol.23, n.4, pp.371-383. ISSN 0100-8404.

Phytosociology of distinct tree strata in tropical forests can be an important tool to understand community dynamics. The arboreal community of an area (6,000 m2) of mature forest was surveyed at the Caetetus Ecological Station, Gália, São Paulo State, Brazil. This protected area has one of the last significant forest remnants in Western São Paulo State, covering an area of 2,178.84 ha in a region where coffee plantation and pasture are dominant. Although the fragment has been protected against fire and exploitation for many years, there are visible edge effects. The sampling area in this study was intended to be representative of the original primary forest, free from edge effects. The arboreal community was divided into three strata: DBH equal to or higher than 5 cm (upper), DBH between 1 and 5 cm (intermediate) and DBH below 1 cm (lower). In each layer, 60 permanent plots, with different sizes were installed, being: 10 x 10 m (upper layer); 10 x 2 m (intermediate layer) and 2 x 2 m (lower layer). The upper stratum had 1,080 ind.ha-1, 62 species (28 families), being the most important (decreasing order): Metrodorea nigra, Savia dictyocarpa, Ocotea indecora, Aspidosperma polyneuron and Trichilia catigua. The intermediate stratum had 3,525 ind.ha-1, 30 species (17 families), being the most important: Metrodorea nigra, Actinostemon concolor, Trichilia catigua, Aspidosperma polyneuron and Trichilia claussenii. The density in the lower stratum was 28,875 ind.ha-1, from 37 species (19 families), being the most abundant, in decreasing relative density: Metrodorea nigra, Actinostemon concolor, Trichilia catigua, Aspidosperma polyneuron and Eugenia blastantha. Some of the species of the upper stratum was absent in the other strata, especially heliophytes, typical from early sucessional stages (e.g. Croton floribundus). Other species had decreasing importance values from the upper to the lower stratum (e.g. Savia dictyocarpa and Ocotea indecora). There were species whose seeds germinated but plants did not grow in the shade (e.g. Cariniana estrellensis). Finally, there was a group of species, typical from late successional stages, that had similar relative density in all strata, e.g. Metrodorea nigra and Aspidosperma polyneuron.

Keywords : Seasonal semideciduous forest; phytosociology; stratification.

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