Acta Biológica Colombiana
Print version ISSN 0120-548X
CASTELLANOS-CASTRO, CAROLINA and BONILLA, MARÍA ARGENIS. Plant Functional Groups of Potential Restoration Use in Advancing Edges of High Andean Forests. Acta biol.Colomb. [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.1, pp. 175-184. ISSN 0120-548X.
The study of plant functional groups constitutes a useful tool in the identification of ecological characteristics relevant in community regeneration. The aim of this study was to identify plant’s functional groups in high Andean forest advance edges and to evaluate their role during secondary succession in abandoned pasturelands. Based on 10 x 10m vegetation relevees for the shrubby-arboreal stratum and 1 x 1 m plots for the herbaceous stratum and the revision of vital attributes for each of the species found, this study uses a multivariate approach to construct a trait-based emergent group’s classification. The most important attributes in the definition of the groups were the dispersion mechanism and the presence of basal trunk ramification in woody species; in addition differences in the presence of vegetative propagation, specific leaf area index and the ratio height/diameter at breast height were found between groups of the shrubby-arboreal stratum. Four distinct groups were defined in the herbaceous layer and five in the shrubby-arboreal layer, each group contains species with similar colonization strategies. Among the defined groups, the herbaceous species dispersed by various abiotic factors, the shrubby species with basal ramification and dispersed by wind and the species dispersed by birds constitute key strategies in forest recovery in adjacent abandoned pasturelands dominated by Holcus lanatus, and facilitate the establishment of secondary forest species.
Keywords : natural regeneration; vital attributes; colonization strategies; Colombia.