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Ecosystem recovery in terra firme forests after cutting and burning: A comparison on species richness, floristic composition and forest structure in the Jau National Park, Amazonia


, : Ecosystem recovery in terra firme forests after cutting and burning: A comparison on species richness, floristic composition and forest structure in the Jau National Park, Amazonia. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 130(2): 97-110, June

Six hectares, three in a primary forest and three in a 40 year old secondary forest were inventoried for all trees with Diameter at Breast Height (DNH) of 10 cm or greater in a terra firme forest 200 km north-east of Manaus, central Amazonia in order to compare the difference between structure, species richness and floristic composition. Both species richness and tree density were significantly higher in the upland forest than in the secondary forest. The forest structure pattern analysed (DBH, basal area and estimated dry biomass) did not differ significantly between the two forest types. Similarity indices at species level were only 14%. In the 3 ha of primary forest the number of species varied from 137 to 159, the number of individuals from 639 to 713, total basal area from 32.8 to 40.2 m2 and estimate total of above-ground dry biomass (AGBM) from 405 to 560 tons per ha. In the 3 ha of secondary forest, the number of species varied from 86 to 90, the number of individuals from 611to 653, total basal area from 28.8 to 39.9 m2 and estimated total AGBM from 340 to 586 tons per ha. Family Importance Value (FIV) is the sum of relative density, dominance and richness of a family. The most important families in relation to FIV were Burseraceae, Chrysobalanaceae, Lecythidaceae, Myristicaceae, Bombacaceae, Fabaceae and Mimosaceae in the 3 ha of primary forest, while Burseraceae, Lecythidaceae, Sapotaceae, Arecaceae and Cecropiaceae were the most important families in the 3 ha of secondary forest. Importance Value Index (IVI) is the sum of relative density, dominance and frequency of a species. Alexa grandiflora (Caesalpiniaceae), Scleronema micranthum (Bombacaceae) and Pourouma guianensis (Cecropiaceae) were the most important species in relation IVI, in the primary forest, while Eschweilera grandiflora (Lecythidaceae), Protium apiculatum (Burseraceae) and Bertholletia excelsa (Lecythidaceae) were the most important species in the secondary forest. We conclude that species richness was significantly different between the two forests, but that forest structure patterns analysed in this study (DBH, basal area and dry biomass) were similar. This demonstrates that 40 years was sufficient time for the secondary forest to recover the original structure of the primary forest, but not the original species richness. The low species similarity between the two forests indicates that the floristic composition was quite distinct and that the mixture of primary forest and disturbed forest has led to an increase in total species diversity.

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