Growth and leaf demography of two Cecropia species

Crescimento e dinâmica foliar de duas espécies de Cecropia

Allometry, growth and leaf demography of two Cecropia species, one with ant mutualist (C. glazioui) and another without it (C. hololeuca), were studied in an Atlantic Rain Forest area in the State of Rio de Janeiro, SE Brazil. Stem diameter was allometrically related to height in both species. Cecropia glazioui showed higher annual growth rates and longer internodes than C. hololeuca. Leaf phenology showed a seasonal pattern in both species, but the number of leaves on each plant was more variable along the year in C. hololeuca than in C. glazioui. Survivorship curves for leaves were intermediate between Deevey's Type I and Type II curves, with young leaves of C. glazioui showing a greater survival rate and life expectancy than those of C. hololeuca. Low variability in leaf production throughout the year and high survival rate for young leaves of C. glazioui may be characteristics related to its association with ants.

Allometry; Atlantic Rain Forest; Cecropia; growth; leaf demography

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