Revista de Biología Tropical
Print version ISSN 0034-7744
MONTENEGRO, Alba Lucía and VARGAS, Orlando. Atributos vitales de especies leñosas en bordes de bosque altoandino de la Reserva Forestal de Cogua (Colombia). Rev. biol. trop [online]. 2008, vol.56, n.2, pp. 705-720. ISSN 0034-7744.
Vital traits of woody species in High Andean forest edges of the Cogua Forest Reserve (Colombia). The Cogua Forest Reserve was studied throughout eight months to detect the existence of functional species-groups associated with edge wood forest. A second goal was to determine which species were the most successful in edge areas and their particular vital traits. The regeneration and growth of the forest patches to the adjacent matrix depends on the establishment of these species and their tolerance to both habitats. Three types of High Andean edge forest were studied. Two forest patches were chosen for each of the three edge types: Chusquea scandens edge, "paramune" and old-edge; the name of the latter was given because of its advanced successional state. in each patch, the vegetation was evaluated in two 60 m transects perpendicular to the edge and along the matrix-edge-interior gradient of the forest. All woody species were identified and counted to determine their abundance. A total of nine species were chosen as representative of High Andean forest edges in the reserve, because of their high abundance in this environment, their presence in both patches of each edge type and their ability to colonize the adjacent matrix. Each species was evaluated using 20 vital attributes of individual, leaf, and reproductive traits. Six species groups were found through a Correspondence Analysis. However, all nine species have high variation and plasticity levels for the attributes, even inside the groups. This trend suggests that while they are not clearly differentiated functional groups, they probably are representing different strategies within a single functional group of great plasticity. Tibouchina grossa and Pentacalia Pulchella are found in all edge and matrix types; the other species are found in all edge types, except by Gaiadendron punctatum and Weinmannia tomentosa, absent in the Chusquea scandens edge. All nine species are important elements in the restoration of forest edges, mainly where they are more abundant, evidencing their success in the particular conditions of an edge type. Miconia ligustrina and M. squamulosa are the most relevant species in the Chusquea scandens edge and matrix; while G. punctatum, P. pulchella, W. tomentosa, W. balbisiana and especially Macleania rupestris, are more important in the paramune edge and matrix; Hedyosmum bonplandianum is more important in the edge than in the matrix regeneration, while T. grossa is the most successful edge and matrix regeneration species, because it is the most abundant and has high levels of tolerance, vegetative reproduction and litter production. These features are related with a high rate of tissue replacement, as well as a persistent seed bank with smaller and more numerous seeds, evidence of its high fecundity. Rev. Biol. Trop. 56 (2): 705-720. Epub 2008 June 30.
Keywords : forest edge; vital traits; disturbance; plant functional groups; restoration ecology; Tibouchina grossa.