Offspring performance and recruitment of the pionner tree Acacia caven (Fabaceae) in a fragmented subtropical dry forest

Authors
Ashworth, Lorena; Calviño, Ana Alejandra; Marti, María Leticia; Aguilar, Ramiro
Publication Year
2015
Language
English
Format
article
Status
Published version
Description
The process of habitat fragmentation results in the breaking apart of originally continuous habitats,causing multiple changes in biotic and abiotic interactions. Alterations in resource availability and in mutualistic and antagonistic plant?animal interactions may impact plant offspring quantity and quality. Currently, several old fragmented systems evidence a process of flora homogenization, where shade-tolerant species are replaced by pioneer light-demanding species. Notably, the elationship between quantity and quality parameters of plant offspring production and the successful recruitment of pioneer species in fragmented forests has been poorly explored. Here, we assess population size, sapling ecruitment and offspring performance of one of the most widespread tree species of subtropical South America, the native pioneer Acacia caven (Fabaceae). Population size of adults and saplings increased from small to continuous forests, whereas the sapling recruitment per adult tree (sapling/adult ratio) showed no significant differences among forests of different size. Seedling performance was negatively related to forest area and population size, implying potential superior competitive ability of seedlings produced in smaller populations compared to larger ones. Our results show that A. caven is resilient to habitat fragmentation effects, which may be ascribed to a set of advantageous ecological traits such as outcrossing, massive flowering, generalist pollination, drought resistance, rapid growth and re-sprouting.Thus, this pioneer tree benefits from the vailability of vacant sites and resources released by declining plant populations of other species, eventually becoming the dominant species in fragmented habitats. Pioneer native plant species with ecological traits such as A. caven may represent the silent successful survivors and new colonizers of fragmented habitats, the ubiquitous landscapes of the future.
Fil: Ashworth, Lorena. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Córdoba. Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal (p); Argentina. Universidad Nacional de Córdoba; Argentina
Fil: Calviño, Ana Alejandra. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Córdoba. Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal (p); Argentina. Universidad Nacional de Córdoba; Argentina
Fil: Marti, María Leticia. Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales; Argentina
Fil: Aguilar, Ramiro. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Córdoba. Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal (p); Argentina. Universidad Nacional de Córdoba; Argentina
Subject
Chaco Serrano forest CHACO SERRANO FOREST
HABITAT FRAGMENTATION
PROGENY VIGOR
SEEDLIND FITNESS
Ecología
Ciencias Biológicas
CIENCIAS NATURALES Y EXACTAS
Access level
Restricted access
License
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ar/
Repository
CONICET Digital (CONICET)
Institution
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas
OAI Identifier
oai:ri.conicet.gov.ar:11336/15292