In the ‘‘Cerrado’’–Amazon ecotone in central Brazil, recent studies suggest some encroachment of forest into savanna, but how, where, and why this might be occurring is unclear. To better understand this phenomenon, we assessed changes in the structure and dynamics of tree species in three vegetation types at the ‘‘Cerrado’’–Amazon ecotone that are potentially susceptible to encroachment: open ‘‘cerrado’’ (OC), typical ‘‘cerrado’’ (TC) and dense woodland (DW). We estimated changes in density, basal area and aboveground biomass of trees with diameter C 10 cm over four inventories carried out between 2008 and 2015 and classiﬁed the species according to their preferred habitat (savanna, generalist, or forest). There was an increase in all structural parameters assessed in all vegetation types, with recruitment and gains in basal area and biomass greater than mortality and losses. Thus, there were net gains between the ﬁrst and ﬁnal inventories in density (OC: 3.4–22.9%; TC: 1.8–12.6%; DW: 0.2–8.3%), in basal area (OC: 8.3–18.2%; TC: 2–12.7%; DW: 2.3–8.9%), and in biomass (OC: 10.6–16.4%; TC: 1–12%; DW: 5.2–18.7%). Furthermore, all vegetation types also experienced net gains in forest and generalist species relative to savanna species. A decline in recruitment of savanna species was a likely consequence of
Brazilian Journal of Botany – Springer Journals
Published: May 31, 2018
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