Acta Botanica Brasilica
Print version ISSN 0102-3306
RIGUEIRA, Dary Moreira Gonçalves et al. Influence of edge distance and leaf density on the abundance of pioneer plants in a patch of tropical submontane forest in the Ecological Station of Wenceslau Guimarães (Bahia, Brazil). Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2012, vol.26, n.1, pp. 197-202. ISSN 0102-3306. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-33062012000100019.
Edge effects are changes in physical, chemical and biological parameters observed in the area of contact of the forest edge with the surrounding matrix. Light availability is the crucial trigger factor. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of light availability on abundance of pioneer plant species in a fragment of a tropical submontane forest, in the municipality of Wenceslau Guimarães, Bahia, Brazil. The results showed reduced abundance of pioneer species as edge distance increased. This can be explained by increased leaf density, and consequently reduction of light availability as of 30 meters from the edge in the various forest strata. This pattern explains the distribution of pioneer plants in fragmented landscapes, and is useful in the development of management strategies such as proper management of the landscape.
Keywords : edge effect; light availability; forest strata; fragmentation.