Ecological Research

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 53–65 | Cite as

Edge effects in recruitment of trees, and relationship to seed dispersal patterns, in cleared strips in the Peruvian Amazon

  • David L. Gorchov
  • Xanic J. Rondon
  • Fernando Cornejo
  • Robert L. Schaefer
  • Julia M. Janosko
  • Greg Slutz
Original Article


We investigated the spatial pattern of tree recruitment 15 years after clear-cutting in two logged strips in the Peruvian Amazon, focusing on differences between seed dispersal modes and cohorts, and relating these to spatial patterns of seed dispersal in the years immediately following clearing. Most trees that recruited in logged strips belonged to taxa dispersed by birds or nonvolant mammals, with smaller numbers dispersed by bats or wind. Seed dispersal patterns differed, with few mammal-dispersed seeds reaching strips, bird-dispersed seeds more abundant near the forest edge than strip centers, and bat- and wind-dispersed seeds more evenly distributed. However, this pattern was not reflected in the tree recruits, except in the deferment cut half of strip 2. Different dispersal modes were differentially represented in different cohorts; for example, in strip 1 bird-dispersed trees predominated in early cohorts, while trees dispersed by nonvolant mammals predominated in later cohorts. Our finding that trees dispersed by mammals (which disperse the majority of commercial trees in Amazonia) successfully regenerate from seed in the interior of logged strips highlights the value of maintaining these animals in forest management systems.


Logged forest Seedling Spatial processes Tropical rain forest 

Supplementary material

11284_2012_999_MOESM1_ESM.xls (56 kb)
Appendix 1. Taxa of plants represented by seeds in the seed traps, or recruited trees alive in the final census (2004 for strip 1, 2005 for strip 2), along with assignment of dispersal modes. Seed sizes are only given for taxa represented by >10 seeds in the traps in strip 1, and (for taxa indicated by *) for taxa with <10 seeds in strip 1, but >5 seeds in strip 2 traps : L = large (width (w) > 5 mm), M = medium (5 mm > w > 1 mm), S = small (w < 1 mm and length*w > 0.6 mm2), VS = very small (length*w < 0.6 mm2). “Seed source” refers to the presence of the plant species (hence source of seeds) near the edge of each strip. Dispersal modes: A = bird, C = bat (chiropteran), G = gravity, M = nonvolant mammal, W = wind. “?” indicates taxon probably dispersed by that agent. References are for sources documenting dispersal agent of the same species (in italics) or for species in that genus. Assignment of seeds to wind-dispersal (W) is based on diaspore structure unless a citation is given (XLS 56 kb)
11284_2012_999_MOESM2_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Appendix 2 (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Ecological Society of Japan 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • David L. Gorchov
    • 1
  • Xanic J. Rondon
    • 1
    • 4
  • Fernando Cornejo
    • 2
  • Robert L. Schaefer
    • 3
  • Julia M. Janosko
    • 3
    • 5
  • Greg Slutz
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BotanyMiami UniversityOxfordUSA
  2. 2.Botanical Research Institute of TexasFort WorthUSA
  3. 3.Department of StatisticsMiami UniversityOxfordUSA
  4. 4.Center for Latin American StudiesUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  5. 5.SeattleUSA

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