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Title: Restriction limits and main drivers of fruit production in palm in central Amazonia
Authors: Freitas, Cíntia Gomes
Costa, Flávia Regina Capellotto
Barbosa, Carlos Eduardo A
Cintra, Renato
Keywords: Conservation Planning
Data Set
Environmental Conditions
Environmental Gradient
Fruit Production
Population Distribution
Reproductive Biology
Species Occurrence
Water Availability
Issue Date: 2016
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Acta Oecologica
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 77, Pags. 75-84
Abstract: Adult plants incapable of producing viable offspring inflate our perception of the size of population distribution. We propose that species occurrence is limited to a subset of the environmental gradient and that it changes as ontogenetic development progresses. Moreover, fruit production is associated with site-specific environmental conditions. We sampled 2988 adult individuals from nine palm species in 30 plots (40 × 250 m) and used a larger data set including 42 other plots distributed along a continuous topo-edaphic gradient in a terra firme forest near Manaus, Brazil. Five out of nine palm species were more restricted to a sub-section of the topo-edaphic gradient in the adult-size phase. More specifically, reproductive individuals of species Attalea attaleoides and A. microcarpa had even more restricted distributions than adult-sized, non-reproductive plants. Successive environmental filtering and competition probably acting through selective mortality led to increasing habitat restriction, with reproductive adults being restricted to a smaller part of the region than juveniles and adults. Water availability and nutrients limited both the ability to produce fruits and the amount of fruit production. Previous studies have reported stronger habitat associations for older plants than for seedlings or juveniles, but we show here that some species are more restricted at their reproductive stage. Plant specializations to local conditions may be more common than currently acknowledged, and a significant portion of individuals in a population might represent sinks. Such strong environmental limitations of reproductive plants should also be considered in management of species with economic value and in conservation planning. © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.09.003
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