The contribution of tree sprouts to the recovery of tropical moist forest in Eastern Paraguay after swidden agriculture was examined in 2–15 yr old forest fallows and compared with sprouting in mature forest. The proportion of stems of sprout origin, as individuals arising from stumps or lower parts of live stems (≤ 1 m), in the stem density declined from 59.5% (stems 1–4.9 cm DBH) and 21.0% (stems ≥ 5 cm DBH) in the young regrowth stands (2–5 yr old) to 32.9% and 19.6%, respectively in the older regrowth stands (10 and 15 yr old). Sprouts were absent in the mature forest. Out of 58 species sampled in the regrowth stands, 28 occured both as resprouts and seed regeneration, 7 were only found as resprouts, and 23 were only present as seed-established individuals. No significant relationship was found between the successional status or the growth form of species and apparent resprouting capacity. Seed-established individuals of Trema micrantha were predominant in the two and three-year old regrowth stands. In the more advanced successional stages, T. micrantha was replaced by Cecropia pachystachia and other secondary species. Species richness increased during succession. Species-abundance distribution in the successional stands followed a log series pattern, whereas the mature forest showed a log normal distribution. Floristic similarity to the mature forest, calculated with the qualitative Soerensen index, increased from 0.45 (1–4.9 cm DBH) in the young regrowth stands to 0.52 in the older regrowth stands. In the tree stratum (≥ 5 cm DBH), however, floristic composition approached only 0.28 in the younger regrowth stands and 0.44 in the older regrowth stands, respectively that of the mature forest.
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Kammesheidt, L. The role of tree sprouts in the restoration of stand structure and species diversity in tropical moist forest after slash-and-burn agriculture in Eastern Paraguay. Plant Ecology 139, 155–165 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1009763402998
- Floristic similarity
- Forest fallows
- Mature forest
- Recovery process