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Seedling growth of understorey species of a Southeast Brazilian tropical forest

Thirteen understorey species of a mesophyllous tropical forest were studied under two different photosynthetic photon flux densities (PPFD). Seedlings were grown in the glasshouse under 51% and 2.6% solar PPFD. Growth of the seedlings was evaluated by 1-) total height; 2-) leaf number; 3-) leaf dry mass;4-) stem dry mass; 5-) root dry mass; 6-) stem length/mass; 7-)shoot/root mass; 8-) percent allocation to leaf, stem and roots. For most of the parameters recorded, low PPFD drastically reduced growth. It seemed that the strategy of these understorey species was a reduction of growth under low PPFD saving energy for survival.

Seedling growth; understorey species; shade; tropical forest

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