Local spatial variation in the population dynamics of two tree species in a region of Atlantic Rainforest, SE Brazil

  • Lucas Benedito Gonsales RosaEmail author
  • Maurício Bonesso Sampaio
  • Valéria Forni Martins
Original Article


The population dynamics of species with distinct geographic distribution ranges and local abundances can be differently influenced by environmental differences at both the regional and local scales. Here, we test for local spatial variation in the dynamics of different populations of two tree species with these distinct characteristics. We took advantage of one population census and carried out a new census of two populations of Faramea picinguabae M.Gomes (Rubiaceae) and Mollinedia schottiana (Spreng.) Perkins (Monimiaceae) at two non-contiguous, permanent 1-ha plots (B and E) located at a region of Atlantic Rainforest, SE Brazil. The plots differed in declivity and soil coverage by rocky boulders. The annual population growth rate (λ) differed only for F. picinguabae (λB = 1.009, λE = 0.959), which presents restricted geographic distribution range and low local abundance in relation to M. schottiana (λB = 0.982, λE = 0.987). The decline in three out of four populations may result from a severe drought in SE Brazil in the last decade. The increase in F. picinguabae at plot B is likely a response to the lower soil coverage by rocky boulders at this plot. Even though we evaluated only two populations of two species, our conclusions open a new venue for the investigation of population dynamics. Within the same forest, some species might show spatial variation in population dynamics mediated by environmental differences at the local scale, while others might not. In the long term, differences among species are likely to result in important changes in community structure and dynamics, as well as in ecosystem functions.


Demographic rates Elasticity Environmental differences Lowland Atlantic Rainforest LTRE Population growth 



We thank Professors FAMS, ASP, and RAGV, and PhDs LFA and PPL for their valuable comments. This study was financed by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—Brasil (CAPES) (1580081/2016)—Finance Code 001, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq)—PhD scholarship to VFM (142295/2006-0) and Edital Universal (459941/2014-3), Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo—Theme Project “Functional Gradient” (Biota/FAPESP 03/12595-7), and Programa de Pós-Graduação em Agricultura e Ambiente—UFSCar.

Authors’ contributions

LBGR, MBS, and VFM contributed to the design and implementation of the research, to the analysis of the results, and to the writing of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

40415_2019_563_MOESM1_ESM.docx (88 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 88 kb)
40415_2019_563_MOESM2_ESM.docx (528 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 528 kb)
40415_2019_563_MOESM3_ESM.docx (371 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 370 kb)


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Copyright information

© Botanical Society of Sao Paulo 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Programa de Pós-graduação em Agricultura e AmbienteUniversidade Federal de São CarlosArarasBrazil
  2. 2.Secretaria do Meio Ambiente e Bem-estar AnimalPrefeitura do Município de MaringáMaringáBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de Ciências da Natureza, Centro de Ciências Agrárias Matemática e EducaçãoUniversidade Federal de São CarlosArarasBrazil
  4. 4.Departamento de Biologia Vegetal, Instituto de BiologiaUniversidade de Campinas – UNICAMPCampinasBrazil

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