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Appears in Collections:eTheses from Faculty of Natural Sciences legacy departments
Title: Forest succession after shifting cultivation in eastern Amazonia
Author(s): Vieira, Ima Celia Guimaraes
Issue Date: 1996
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: Succession following shifting cultivation was studied in secondary forests (5 to 40 years old) and a primary forest in Bragantina region, Para, Brazil. Secondary forests covered 62% of the study area (89 km² ) and crops and pasture 18%. Soil analyses showed an increase in pH, exchangeable calcium, magnesium and potassium and a decrease of organic matter and exchangeable aluminium, immediately after burning. Organic matter and extractable phosphorus increased with forest age, exchangeable aluminium and potassium were the same in both secondary and primary forests and exchangeable calcium and magnesium remained higher in the secondary forests. The highest densities of individuals and the least basal area and height were found in the younger secondary forests. The number of woody species (≥5 cm dbh) 250-m2 plot ranged from 8 to 17 in the secondary forests and 17 to 27 in the primary forest. Ordination and classification of floristic data suggested four successional communities. The forests regenerated readily and studies showed: the largest seed bank (0-5 cm) in the 5-years-old forest (1190 ± 284 seeds m-2) and a decrease with age to 137 ±19 seeds m-2 in the primary forest; the highest seed rain in the 5-years-old forest (883 ± 230 seeds m-2) and least in the primary forest (220 ± 80); 46% of the smaller plants (≥1 m tall, < 5 cm dbh) were seedlings and 54% were sprouts in the 5-years-old forest but in the 10-years and 20-years-old forests, seedlings (81%) predominated; adult plants (≥5 cm db h) in 5 to 20-years-old plots regenerated mainly from sprouts. Even after about 90 years of shifting cultivation the region has the potential for forest regeneration and the soil nutrients are able to recover to values similar to those in the primary forest. This raises the hope that, if a land use plan for Bragantina could be implemented, then it would be successful.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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