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Phenology Patterns Across a Rupestrian Grassland Altitudinal Gradient

Abstract

Phenology is the study of recurrent biological events in the life cycle of organisms. For plants, reproductive events such as flowering and fruiting are critical stages in their life cycles, which also greatly affect other organisms depending on these resources. Here, we present the first community level plant phenology study across an altitudinal gradient from cerrado through rupestrian grassland to higher altitudinal grasslands developed in the South Espinhaço Mountain range (Serra do Cipó, Brazil). We describe the seasonal patterns of flowering and fruiting phenology and discuss the dependency of reproductive events on the varying climate and habitat types across the gradient. We point out the importance of long-term monitoring and further detailed analyses of families and species contribution to unravel the structure of community phenology, the environmental drivers and sensitivity to climate changes.

Keywords

  • Reproductive phenology
  • Seasonality patters
  • Altitudinal grasslands
  • Cerrado

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Acknowledgments

We thank the many stakeholders that have allowed us to work in their lands and for logistical support: Serra Morena Inn, Cedro Cachoeira Textile Industry, Vellozia Reserve, Pedra do Elefante Inn, Eduardo C. Costa Jr, and Serra do Cipó National Park. We are grateful to Ana Cláudia Rodrigues, Valeria Campos, Natalia Costa Soares, Bruna Alberton, Irene Mendoza, Eduardo A. Athayde, Júlia Santos, Swanni Alvarado, Eli Garcia, Márcio Schafer Annia Susin, Thiago Horta, Leonardo F. Cancian, and Fernando Silveira for assistance in the field and to Ramiro Aguilar for valuable comments on the text. This research was supported by São Paulo Research Foundation FAPESP (FAPESP-VALE-FAPEMIG grant #2010/51307-0 and grant #2009/54208-6); Rocha, N.M.W.B. and Carstensen, D.W. received fellowships from FAPESP grants #2011/22635-2 and #2012/12429-9. Fernandes, GW thanks the grants and logistic supported provided by CNPq, Fapemig and Reserva Vellozia. Morellato, L.P.C. and Fernandes, GW received CNPq research productivity fellowship.

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Correspondence to Leonor Patrícia Cerdeira Morellato .

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Rocha, N.M.W.B., Carstensen, D.W., Fernandes, G.W., Le Stradic, S., Buisson, E., Morellato, L.P.C. (2016). Phenology Patterns Across a Rupestrian Grassland Altitudinal Gradient. In: Fernandes, G. (eds) Ecology and Conservation of Mountaintop grasslands in Brazil. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-29808-5_12

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