Influence of Edge Exposure on Tree Seedling Species Recruitment in Tropical Rain Forest Fragments1

  • Benitez-Malvido J
  • Martinez-Ramos M
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Abstract Edge creation has a pronounced influence on the understory vegetation, but the effects of edges on seedling species recruitment are still poorly understood. In Central Amazonia, 9–19 years after fragmentation, we recorded species richness and net seedling recruitment rate in 1 ha blocks exposed to none, one, or multiple edges within forest fragments. One-hectare blocks were located in the center (no edge), the edge (one edge), the corners (two edges) of 10 and 100 ha fragments, and in a 1 ha fragment (four edges). In 1991, we counted all tree seedlings 5–100 cm tall found within permanent 1 m2 plots located within the 1 ha blocks. In May 1993, we manually removed all seedlings that were smaller than 1 m tall from the permanent plots. Six years and five months later (October 1999), all new seedlings recruited into the plots were counted and classified into distinct morphospecies. Species richness of recruited seedlings, scaled by total seedling density, declined from the center to the edge, the co...

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  • Julieta Benitez-Malvido

  • Miguel Martinez-Ramos

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