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Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology

Print version ISSN 1516-8913On-line version ISSN 1678-4324


BIANCHINI, Edmilson; PIMENTA, José A.  and  SANTOS, Flavio A. M. dos. Spatial and temporal variation in the canopy cover in a tropical semi-deciduous forest. Braz. arch. biol. technol. [online]. 2001, vol.44, n.3, pp.269-276. ISSN 1678-4324.

This study was developed in the Mata dos Godoy State Park (23° 27’S, 51° 15’W) South Brazil which present great environmental heterogeneity when its north portion (ridge) is compared with the southern portion (valley), where there are some flooded areas. The forest formation is classified as tropical semi-deciduous forest. Spatial and temporal variations in the degree of the canopy cover were compared at flooded and unflooded sites. The measures were taken seasonally in 100 m2 plots using a spherical densiometer from spring 1995 to winter 1996. The flooded area was more open and lighter and had a greater spatial and temporal variation in the canopy cover than the unflooded areas. The greater heterogeneity in the flooded area could be due to structural characteristics of the canopy (greater spacing between individual trees, lower canopy and less stratified canopy), more frequent natural disturbances and a greater degree of deciduousness. These causes seemed to be related to the presence of the river and flooding.

Keywords : Canopy; flooding; seasonality; spatial heterogeneity; tropical forest.

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