PMID: 19419101May 8, 2009Paper

Growth, survival and herbivory of seedlings in Brosimum alicastrum (Moraceae), a species from the Neotropical undergrowth

Revista de biología tropical
H S Ballina-GómezL S Santiago


Growth responses, survival, and herbivory, on seedlings of Brosimum alicastrum were studied in a neotropical Mexican forest. We selected 122 seedlings and divided them into three groups assigned to defoliation treatments: control or 0 (n=21), 50 (n=51) and 90% (n=50). Every 4 months during two years we measured seedling growth (in terms of relative growth rate in biomass, leaf area growth, produced leaves and height growth) and survival. In addition, we evaluated every 12 months pathogen damage and insect herbivory using a 2 mm(-2) grid. Separately, we estimated mammal herbivory in 3-month old seedlings that were selected within a plot of 500 m x 10 m (N=1095). Pathogen damage and insect herbivory were evaluated within the same plot in 113 seedlings. We found that 50% defoliated seedlings showed compensatory responses in all growth parameters. Relative growth rate and height growth also had a compensatory response in seedlings at 90% defoliation. Relative growth rate and leaf area growth gradually decreased with time although height growth seedling showed an opposite pattern. Leaves produced were not affected by time. Estimated seedling survival probability increased with defoliation to a maximum of 97%, decreasing at 24 month ...Continue Reading

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