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Ecología austral

versión On-line ISSN 1667-782X


MORETTI, Ana P et al. Survival and growth of a timber tree under different canopy coverages in the Atlantic Forest, Misiones, Argentina. Ecol. austral [online]. 2019, vol.29, n.1, pp.99-111. ISSN 1667-782X.

The natural dynamic of the rainforest generates changes in the canopy coverage and, consequently, in the quality and quantity of light that reaches the understory. Similar effects can be achieved by the anthropogenic selective extraction of trees. The microsites produced by the disturbances represent a continuum of environmental conditions that ensures the coexistence of many species. The knowledge of the requirements of the species and the evaluation of the optimal microenvironments to plant growth are useful to build tools to restore degraded areas. We worked in a native rainforest in San Antonio, Misiones, Argentina, focused in a species that has high timber and ecological value: Cabralea canjerana (Vell.) Mart. (cancharana). The aim was to evaluate the establishment of cancharana under different coverage conditions. Two experiments were carried out: a pot experiment in which survivor and growth under two extreme natural coverage were evaluated, and a field experiment in which cancharana was planted in a gradient of coverage produced by natural gaps. In both experiments, more than 90% of the cancharana plants were initially established in a wide gradient of coverage. In the pot experiment, plants without forest coverage (full sun) were damaged by the frost in winter. Four years after the plantation, 70% of the plants survived in the field experiment and mortality was observed mostly in microenvironments with lower light incidence. We conclude that cancharana can establish and survive in many microenvironmental conditions within the rainforest, it acclimates in few months to sudden changes in coverage and, one year after planting, its growth arises with higher availability of light. The species tolerates sudden changes in coverage, therefore the remove of the understory or gap opening stimulate cancharana growth.

Palabras clave : Shade; Ecological restoration; Cancharana; Rainforest.

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