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Title: Heterogeneity of Tree Species Communities along Edge Gradients in Fragments of Araucaria Forest in Southern Brazil
Authors: Pedro Higuchi; Ana Carolina da Silva; Tássio Dresch Rech; Marco Antônio Bento; Fernando Buzzi-Junior; Bruna Salami; Tiago de Souza Ferreira; Francieli Pscheidt; Marcelo Negrini; Roni Djeison Ansolin; Marcelo Bonazza
Aff: Santa Catarina State University, Forestry Department, Av. Luiz de Camões, 2090 - Conta Dinheiro - Lages – SC - 88.520-000 – Brazil. Tel: +554921019256
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Keywords: Edge Effects; Forest Fragments; Subtropical Forest; Altitudinal Gradients
Abstract:Background: Although the scientific literature includes abundant and diverse studies conducted in tropical regions, little is known about the influence of edges in subtropical forest fragments Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the floristic-structural organization of tree communities along edge gradients in Araucaria Forest fragments in Southern Brazil. Results: We observed a high floristic and structural heterogeneity among fragments. This heterogeneity is a result of the species turnover that occurs in the region. It was possible to detect the influence of edge gradients on tree community organization in two fragments. Conclusion: We conclude that edge gradients can represent an important source of floristic-structural heterogeneity in Araucaria Forest fragments. However, the various response patterns observed for the tree communities indicate the complex nature of edge effects and suggest that the influence of edge gradients cannot be generalized for this forest formation.