Slope variation and population structure of tree species from different ecological groups in South Brazil

Size structure and spatial arrangement of 13 abundant tree species were determined in a riparian forest fragment inParaná State, South Brazil (23"16'S and 51"01'W). The studied species were Aspidosperma polyneuron Müll. Arg., Astronium graveolens Jacq. and Gallesia integrifolia (Spreng) Harms (emergent species); Alseis floribunda Schott, Ruprechtia laxiflora Meisn. and Bougainvillea spectabilis Willd. (shade-intolerant canopy species); Machaerium paraguariense Hassl, Myroxylum peruiferum L. and Chrysophyllum gonocarpum (Mart. & Eichler ex Miq.) Engl. (shade-tolerant canopy species); Sorocea bonplandii (Baill.) Bürger, Trichilia casaretti C. Dc, Trichilia catigua A. Juss. and Actinostemon concolor (Spreng.) Müll. Arg. (understory small trees species). Height and diameter structures and basal area of species were analyzed. Spatial patterns and slope correlation were analyzed by Moran's / spatial autocorrelation coefficient and partial Mantel test, respectively. The emergent and small understory species showed the highest and the lowest variations in height, diameter and basal area. Size distribution differed among emergent species and also among canopy shade-intolerant species. The spatial pattern ranged among species in all groups, except in understory small tree species. The slope was correlated with spatial pattern for A. polyneuron, A. graveolens, A. floribunda, R. laxiflora, M. peruiferum and T. casaretti. The results indicated that most species occurredin specific places, suggesting that niche differentiation can be an important factor in structuring the tree community.

diameter structure; ecological groups; forest fragment; seasonal semideciduous forest; spatial pattern

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