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Critical stages in the recruitment process of Rhamnus alaternus L.

AutorGulías, Javier; Traveset, Anna ; Riera, Núria; Mus, Maurici
Palabras claveRecruitment
Rhamnus alaternus
Seed dispersal
Seedling survival
Mediterranean shrubs
Fecha de publicación2004
EditorOxford University Press
CitaciónAnnals of Botany 93(6): 723-731 (2004)
Resumen• Background and Aims: Rhamnus alaternus is a Mediterranean shrub commonly used in reforestation programs. Although several aspects of its reproductive biology have been studied, little is known about the importance of the different recruitment stages in the overall regeneration process of this species, which limits its proper use in Mediterranean forests and shrubland management. The aim of the present work was to quantify the importance of the different recruitment stages in the regeneration process of R. alaternus. • Methods: Two populations of Rhamnus alaternus on the island of Mallorca that differ in climatic conditions, type of habitat and sex ratio were studied. The importance of seed production, seed dispersal and predation, seedling emergence and seedling survival for the regeneration of this species were quantified. • Key Results: In both populations, fruit set and fruit removal by animals were not critical stages, since almost half of the flowers became mature fruits and 90 % of those were dispersed. Most seeds were deposited under female conspecifics (86 and 47 %, at Lloret and Esporles, respectively), and very few were found in open inter-spaces (1 and 5 %). Post-dispersal seed predation (mostly by ants and rodents) was very high in both populations. Seedling emergence took place during autumn and early winter and it ranged from 31 to 68 % depending upon year and microhabitat. The majority of emerged seedlings died during the first year, mainly due to desiccation; such mortality was influenced by rainfall and differed among microhabitats (varying from 67 to 100 %). The general spatial distribution of seed rain was concordant with the seedling emergence and survival pattern in both populations. • Conclusions The recruitment of Rhamnus alaternus appeared to be mainly limited by seed and seedling survival, regardless of the type of habitat in which the species is found. © 2004 Annals of Botany Company.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mch100
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1093/aob/mch100
issn: 0305-7364
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