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Surface fire drives short-term changes in the vegetative phenology of woody species in a Brazilian savanna Translated title: A passagem do fogo resulta em mudanças de curto prazo para a fenologia vegetativa de espécies lenhosas em um cerrado stricto sensu

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      Abstract

      We evaluated the effects of fire on the vegetative phenological behavior (crown foliage cover, sprouting, mature and young leaves) of woody species at two sites in the Brazilian savanna, one of which had been accidentally burned. We used generalized additive mixed models to test the hypothesis that: 1) fire damages total foliage cover, thus leading to changes in vegetative phenological patterns. As this hypothesis was corroborated, we also tested whether 2) the damage caused by fire to the total crown foliage cover and mature leaves is greater in evergreen than in deciduous species, and 3) the negative effects of fire on vegetative phenology persist after the first fire-free year. The first two hypotheses were corroborated, but the third was not. Fire effects on total crown foliage cover and mature leaves were greatest during the first three months following the fire, and were significantly greater in evergreen species. For shoots and young leaves, the greatest differences found between three and seven months post-fire. On the other hand, no differences were observed in phenological events between burned and unburned sites in the second year post-fire, indicating that marked effects of the fire were only observed over a short period. Our results showed immediate negative effects on the vegetative phenophases, but also that these effects are transient, and cannot be discerned after the first fire-free year.

      Translated abstract

      Avaliamos os efeitos do fogo sobre o comportamento fenológico vegetativo (cobertura de copa, brotação, folhas jovens e folhas adultas) de espécies lenhosas em dois sítios de cerrado sensu stricto: um queimado acidentalmente e outro não queimado. Usamos modelos aditivos mistos generalizados para testar a hipótese de que 1) o fogo danifica a cobertura de folhas das copas, o que resulta em alterações nos padrões fenológicos vegetativos das espécies; sendo isso verdadeiro, testamos se 2) os danos causados pelo fogo na cobertura de copa e nas folhas adultas são maiores em espécies sempre verdes do que em espécies decíduas e se 3) os efeitos negativos do fogo sobre a fenologia vegetativa persistem após um ano sem fogo. As duas primeiras hipóteses foram corroboradas, mas a terceira não. Os efeitos do fogo na cobertura de folhagem da copa e nas folhas adultas foram maiores após três meses da ocorrência do fogo e significativamente maiores para espécies sempre verdes. Para brotação e folhas jovens, as maiores diferenças foram entre três e sete meses após a queimada. Por outro lado, não foram percebidas diferenças entre os eventos fenológicos vegetativos dos sítios no segundo ano após a ocorrência do fogo, o que indica que os efeitos do fogo foram expressivos apenas por curto período. Os nossos resultados mostraram que o efeito do fogo sobre os eventos fenológicos vegetativos é negativo e mais intenso logo após a ocorrência da queimada, mas também que estes efeitos são temporários, e não são mais percebidos após o primeiro ano da ocorrência do fogo.

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      R: a language and environment for statistical computing

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        Effects of fire protection on savanna structure in Central Brazil

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          Tree topkill, not mortality, governs the dynamics of savanna-forest boundaries under frequent fire in central Brazil.

          Tropical savanna and forest are recognized to represent alternate stable states, primarily determined by feedbacks with fire. Vegetation-fire dynamics in each of these vegetation types are largely determined by the influence of the vegetation on fire behavior, as well as the effects of fire behavior on tree mortality, topkill (defined here as complete death of the aerial biomass, regardless of whether the plant recovers by resprouting), and rate of growth of resprouts. We studied the effect of fire on three savanna-forest boundaries in central Brazil. Fire intensity was greater in savanna than forest, as inferred by a twofold greater height of stem charring. Despite lower fire intensity, forest tree species exhibited higher rates of topkill, which was best explained by their thinner bark, relative to savanna species. Following topkill, there was no tendency for sprouts of savanna trees to grow faster than those of forest species, contrary to expectations, nor was whole-plant mortality higher in forest than in savanna. This contrasts with observations of high rates of postburn mortality in many other tropical forests. The low tree mortality in these transitional forests suggests that the dynamic of these natural savanna-forest boundaries is fundamentally different from that of forest boundaries originating from deforestation in the humid tropics. The forests studied here appear to be much more resilient to occasional incursion of fire from the savanna, despite being unable to invade frequently burned savanna. The thin bark of forest species makes them particularly susceptible to the "fire trap," whereby repeated topkill of small trees prevents recruitment into adult size classes. Rapid growth will be particularly important for forest species to escape the fire trap, so we predict that, where fire is frequent, forests should be restricted to high-resource sites. Here, Mg2+ and Ca2+ concentrations had particularly strong effects on postburn growth rates, suggesting that these elements may most strongly limit the distribution of forest in these fire-prone savannas.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ] Universidade de Brasília Brazil
            [2 ] Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia Brazil
            [3 ] Universidade do Estado de Mato Grosso Brazil
            Contributors
            Role: ND
            Role: ND
            Role: ND
            Role: ND
            Role: ND
            Role: ND
            Journal
            bn
            Biota Neotropica
            Biota Neotrop.
            Instituto Virtual da Biodiversidade | BIOTA - FAPESP (Campinas )
            1676-0611
            July 2015
            : 15
            : 3
            : 1-9
            S1676-06032015000300104 10.1590/1676-0611-BN-2014-0077

            http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

            Product
            Product Information: SciELO Brazil
            Categories
            BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION

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