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Acta Botanica Brasilica
Print version ISSN 0102-3306
REZNIK, Gabriela; PIRES, Jakeline Prata de Assis and FREITAS, Leandro. Effect of linear edges in the phenology of animal dispersed tree species in a remnant of Atlantic Forest. Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2012, vol.26, n.1, pp.65-73. ISSN 0102-3306. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-33062012000100008.
The dispersal of seeds is one of the crucial phases of the life cycle of plants and plant phenology is among the factors that regulate the dispersal mode and activity of dispersers. In landscapes subject to fragmentation, the distribution of dispersal syndromes may be modified due to changes in flora composition and structure caused by edge effects, which may also change plant phenodynamics. In this study, the dispersal syndromes (zoochory, anemochory and autocory) of 162 tree species were identified and, for 57 of these species, this information was related to different measures of fruiting phenology (activity index, percentage of Fournier intensity and intensity weighted by basal area) in environments of linear edges and forest interior. In all environments there was a predominance of animal dispersed species and, in general, the distribution of syndromes did not differ among environments. Considering the three environments together, zoochorous and anemochorous species had continuous fruiting, while the autochorous fruiting pattern was intermittent. When the environments were analyzed separately, the fruiting phenodynamics of animal dispersed species (N = 44) differed among the three environments. The results indicate the existence of edge effects on fruiting phenology of species dispersed by animals, despite the absence of these effects in the distribution of dispersal syndromes. This suggests that the passage of electric transmission lines and gas pipelines in remnants of Atlantic Forest may affect the temporal dynamics of fruit availability for frugivores, with possible consequences for plant-seed disperser interactions, even when it does not lead to a decrease in the total supply of resources for these animals.
Keywords : fruit production; habitat fragmentation; seed dispersal; tropical forests.