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Brazilian Journal of Botany

Print version ISSN 0100-8404


PORTELA, Rita de Cássia Quitete  and  SANTOS, Flavio Antonio Maës dos. Ontogenetic stages characterization for three palm species: a proposal of standardization for population dynamics studies. Rev. bras. Bot. [online]. 2011, vol.34, n.4, pp.523-535. ISSN 0100-8404.

The objective of this study was to identify, classify and describe the ontogenetic stages and/or size classes of three tropical palm species, Astrocaryum aculeatissimum (Schott) Burret, Euterpe edulis Mart. and Geonoma schottiana Mart. The populations were sampled in five fragments of Atlantic Rain Forest in 2005. All individuals had their diameter and height measured, and also the number and kind of leaf recorded in each fragment of nine 30 × 30 m plots. Based on these measurements, we assigned each individual to one of five classes. Astrocaryum aculeatissimum and E. edulis change their kind of leaf throughout development. Geonoma schottiana has a high variation in the kind of leaf, and only the seedlings stage displays only one kind of leaf. The appearance of stem and reproductive events also represents class change. The kind of leaf, the surge of the stem and reproductive events were the main characteristics used for the ontogenetic stage identification. However, for E. edulis and G. schottiana class identification, we also used quantitative characteristic because some stages have wide size variation. Studies that characterize and describe species ontogenetic stages are very important for standardization and to allow comparison between studies of population structure and dynamics.

Keywords : Atlantic Rain Forest; Astrocaryum aculeatissimum; Euterpe edulis; Geonoma schottiana.

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