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Acta Botanica Brasilica

Print version ISSN 0102-3306


POLISEL, Rodrigo Trassi et al. Structure of the understory community in four stretches of Araucaria forest in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2014, vol.28, n.1, pp.86-101. ISSN 0102-3306.

We analyzed the structure of the understory community in the Atlantic Forest sensu lato, for which phytosociological descriptions of the understory are lacking. We delineated 50 plots of 10 × 20 m each at four sites within an Araucaria forest (a subtype of Atlantic Forest), located in the municipalities of Bananal, Campos do Jordão, Itaberá and Barra do Chapéu, all of which are in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. To sample the resident species of the understory, we randomly selected five 1 × 1 m subplots within each plot, resulting in a total sampling area of 250 m2 at each site. We identified differences among the locations, mostly due to proportional differences in growth forms, in terms of species richness and the importance values within the community. Factors potentially influencing the understory structure include macroclimatic and microclimatic conditions, as well as forest fragmentation, the abundance of deciduous trees in the canopy, the surrounding vegetation and geographic location.

Keywords : herb-shrub layer; phytosociology; species richness; mixed rain forest; Atlantic Forest.

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