Growth and performance of rupestrian grasslands native species in quartzitic degraded areas

Vanessa Matos Gomes, Daniel Negreiros, Vanessa Carvalho, G. Wilson Fernandes

Abstract


The rupestrian grasslands stand out for their exceptional biodiversity and high proportion of endemic species. Ecological restoration studies on this ecosystem are urgently needed in view of its extremely low resilience and special vulnerability to soil degradation. We experimentally investigated the performance of survival, height growth, and reproductive phenology of eight rupestrian grassland native species, planted in quartzitic degraded areas. Planting took place in 2011 and the saplings were monitored for 12 to 18 months. All species presented high survival (90-100%) during the sampled time interval, with significant height growth, which suggested the successful establishment and adaptation to the harsh conditions found in these degraded areas. In addition, four shrubs completed the reproductive cycle, reaching seed dispersion at approximately two years age. The results indicate that planting saplings of native species should be considered an important tool for the restoration of quartzitic degraded areas in rupestrian grasslands.

Keywords: Cerrado, ecological restoration, facilitation, quartzitic soils, sapling growth, Serra do Cipó.


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ISSN: 2236-3777 - Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox

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