Long-term monitoring of shrub species translocation in degraded Neotropical mountain grassland

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Gomes, Vanessa M.
Negreiros, Daniel
Fernandes, G. Wilson
Pires, Ana C. V.
Silva, Ana C. D. R.
Le Stradic, Soizig [UNESP]

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The introduction of plant species is a central topic in restoration ecology research. It is an effective technique to restore degraded ecosystems that present low resilience, such as the rupestrian grasslands. Once implemented, the transplantation of native species is monitored only in the short term, whereas long-term monitoring should be preferred to identify potential changes in the restoration results. Our study is the first assessment of the transplantation success of 10 native shrub species in a degraded area of rupestrian grasslands, 8.5 years after transplantation. Survival, growth, and recruitment were assessed in 2004, 2008, and 2012. For all species, survival, growth, and recruitment varied over time. Although some species exhibited great mortality during the last 4 years, they also showed a great resprouting ability. Our results highlighted a trade-off between survival and recruitment capacity. Most of the studied species showed remarkable ability to adapt to the extreme environment of the degraded area, persisting either through surviving or recruiting new individuals. We list nine native species, which are well appropriated for rupestrian grasslands restoration. In constrained environments, survival and resistance should represent criteria to select species for restoration project rather than fast growth and ground cover.



campus rupestres, native species, performance, restoration, trade-off, transplantation

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Restoration Ecology, v. 26, n. 1, p. 91-96, 2018.