O papel da limitação de sementes e da limitação no estabelecimento no recrutamento de plantas do cerrado
Silva, Vanessa Mariano da
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Plant recruitment can be constrained by seed and establishment limitation and these processes can affect community species composition and diversity. In Neotropical savannas the relative importance of these processes for plant regeneration are unclear because of the scarcity of studies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the importance of seed and establishment limitation to plant recruitment on cerrado savanna in Itirapina, southeast Brazil (22°12´S, 47°52´W). We spread 49 seed traps in a 0.64-ha plot and monitored seed rain monthly for a year, and also conducted seed addition experiments. Seed production presented a peak in rainy season, with zoochoric and anemochoric species producing seeds mainly in rainy and dry season respectively. Our study indicates a strong influence of seed limitation on recruitment, with most seed rain species presenting seed limitation values higher than 65%. Only 23% of woody species in the plot had at least one seed trapped. Seed and source limitation was negative related to adult abundance, indicating that the increase of seed sources enhances the number of suitable sites reached by seeds. There was no relation between seed, source and dispersal limitation and plant life form, dispersal syndrome and seed mass. Seed addition was unable to increase seedling regeneration in the four species tested, which presented high values of establishment limitation. Our study shows that Neotropical savanna plants recruitment is restricted by seed and establishment limitation and highlights the role of seed production and dispersal to colonization of new sites.