Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2009.06.015
Title (Primary) The impact of fragmentation and density regulation on forest succession in the Atlantic rain forest
Author Groeneveld, J.; Alves, L.F.; Bernacci, L.C.; Catharino, E.L.M.; Knogge, C.; Metzger, J.P.; Pütz, S.; Huth, A.
Journal Ecological Modelling
Year 2009
Department OESA
Volume 220
Issue 19
Page From 2450
Page To 2459
Language englisch
Keywords Forest growth model; FORMIND; Plant functional types; Regeneration; Simulation
Abstract The Atlantic Rain Forest, an important biodiversity hot spot, has faced severe habitat loss since the last century which has resulted in a highly fragmented landscape with a large number of small forest patches (<100 ha). For conservation planning it is essential to understand how current and future forest regeneration depends on ecological processes, fragment size and the connection to the regional seed pool. We have investigated the following questions by applying the forest growth simulation model FORMIND to the situation of the Atlantic Forest in the state of São Paulo, SE Brazil: (1) which set of parameters describing the local regeneration and level of density regulation can reproduce the biomass distribution and stem density of an old growth forest in a reserve? (2) Which additional processes apart from those describing the dynamics of an old growth forest, drive forest succession of small isolated fragments? (3) Which role does external seed input play during succession? Therefore, more than 300 tree species have been classified into nine plant functional types (PFTs), which are characterized by maximum potential height and shade tolerance. We differentiate between two seed dispersal modes: (i) local dispersal, i.e. all seedlings originated from fertile trees within the simulated area and (ii) external seed rain. Local seed dispersal has been parameterized following the pattern oriented approach, using biomass estimates of old growth forest. We have found that moderate density regulation is essential to achieve coexistence for a broad range of regeneration parameters. Considering the expected uncertainty and variability in the regeneration processes it is important that the forest dynamics are robust to variations in the regeneration parameters. Furthermore, edge effects such as increased mortality at the border and external seed rain have been necessary to reproduce the patterns for small isolated fragments. Overall, simulated biomass is much lower in the fragments compared to the continuous forest, whereas shade tolerant species are affected most strongly by fragmentation. Our simulations can supplement empirical studies by extrapolating local knowledge on edge effects of fragments to larger temporal and spatial scales. In particular our results show the importance of external seed rain and therefore highlight the importance of structural connectivity between regenerating fragments and mature forest stands.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Groeneveld, J., Alves, L.F., Bernacci, L.C., Catharino, E.L.M., Knogge, C., Metzger, J.P., Pütz, S., Huth, A. (2009):
The impact of fragmentation and density regulation on forest succession in the Atlantic rain forest
Ecol. Model. 220 (19), 2450 - 2459