Changes in structure and diversity of woody plants in a secondary mixed Pine-Oak forest in the sierra madre del Sur of Mexico
Almazán Núñez, Roberto Carlos
Corcuera Martínez del Rio, Pablo
Jiménez Hernández, Javier
Charre Meunier, Gregory Michael
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The biotic province of the Sierra Madre del Sur presents a mosaic of woodlands at different successional stages due to frequent modifications in land use. In this study, we analyzed changes in woody flora across three successional stages of pine-oak forest: early, intermediate, and mature. Vegetation composition and diversity were characterized in 10 plots (each 0.28 ha). The mature stage had the highest values for species richness, abundance, and diversity. Pioneer plants were dominant in the early-successional site and may promote the establishment of late-successional species. The vegetation structure was more complex in the mature stage, where members of the Quercus genus were co-dominant with Pinus species. Pine tree richness was highest in the early-successional stage, and its abundance in reased at the intermediate-successional site. These results suggest that Pinus species can grow in perturbed and sunny environments but also require favorable edaphic and microclimatic conditions, such as those found in intermediate woodlands.
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