Effects of flooding and herbivores on variation in recruitment of palms between habitats

Authors
Citation
Maw. Pacheco, Effects of flooding and herbivores on variation in recruitment of palms between habitats, J ECOLOGY, 89(3), 2001, pp. 358-366
Citations number
63
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Environment/Ecology
Journal title
JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY
ISSN journal
0022-0477 → ACNP
Volume
89
Issue
3
Year of publication
2001
Pages
358 - 366
Database
ISI
SICI code
0022-0477(200106)89:3<358:EOFAHO>2.0.ZU;2-G
Abstract
1 It is widely recognized that negative effects of anaerobic stress on grow th and survival of flooded plants influence the distribution of numerous sp ecies. Less explored is the possibility that heterogeneity in abundance of plants between habitats with distinct flooding regimes may also result from variation in rates of herbivory or in the ability of plants to tolerate lo sses to herbivores. 2 Flooding and herbivores were tested as factors underlying variation in ab undance of two tropical forest palms, Socratea exorrhiza (which is associat ed with lowlands adjacent to streams) and Oenocarpus bacaba (which is more abundant on plateaux and upper edges of slopes). 3 In a bench experiment, seeds of both palms were either completely immerse d in water for a period of 101 days or not subject to inundation. Flooding inhibited germination of both species but, as expected, the adverse effects were much stronger on Oenocarpus. 4 In a field experiment, seeds of both palms were planted with increasing l evels of protection against herbivores on plateaux and in lowlands. Seeds w ere either not protected or placed within poultry-netting exclosures, half of which were sprayed with insecticide. 5 After 17 months, only Oenocarpus had experienced differential mortality b etween habitats, and this was clearly associated with the negative effects of flooding on seed germination in lowlands. In contrast, growth differed b etween habitats only for Socratea seedlings, where average above-ground bio mass was greater in lowlands. 6 Although protection with exclosures and insecticide increased survivorshi p of both species, herbivores caused similar proportions of mortality on pl ateaux and in lowlands, and had no significant effect on seedling growth. T herefore at this site, herbivores do not appear to influence variation in a bundance of species between habitats.