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Stem density and growth of Attalea maripa and Astrocaryum aculeatum: implication for arborescent palms distribution across Amazonian forests

This study examines aspects of the stem density and growth of two large arborescent palms Attalea maripa and Astrocaryum aculeatum and discusses their implication for the palm trees distribution in Amazonia. Stem density and growth were investigated through both laboratory measurements and field estimates of growth rates. The densities of stem samples collected within one individual of each studied species were very distinct. The samples of A. maripa stem were more homogeneous in density than those of A. aculeatum, both from the internal to the external, and from the lower to the upper parts of the stem. Field estimates of stem growth rates revealed that A. maripa growth is also more constant through development in height. Short A. aculeatum palms had faster growth rates than A. maripa, as they get taller, stem growth rates are reduced and approach A. maripa rates. The implications for arborescent palms distribution across Amazonian forests are discussed.

Amazonia; Astrocaryum aculeatum; Attalea maripa; Distribution; Palms; Stem density

Instituto Virtual da Biodiversidade | BIOTA - FAPESP Departamento de Biologia Vegetal - Instituto de Biologia, UNICAMP CP 6109, 13083-970 - Campinas/SP, Tel.: (+55 19) 3521-6166, Fax: (+55 19) 3521-6168 - Campinas - SP - Brazil