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Print version ISSN 0366-5232On-line version ISSN 2357-3759


GONZALEZ-M, ROY; PARRADO-ROSSELLI, ÁNGELA  and  LOPEZ-CAMACHO, RENÉ. Population structure of the palm Iriartea deltoidea, in a terra firme forest of the Colombian Amazon. Caldasia [online]. 2012, vol.34, n.1, pp.187-204. ISSN 0366-5232.

The goal of this research was to characterize the population structure and density of the bombona palm Iriartea deltoidea in forests of terra firme in the southern areas of the Amacayacu National Park, in the Colombian Amazon. In six 1-ha plots and 90 transects of 50 x 1 m, all individuals, from seedlings to adults, were censused. For each individual, the trunk height, leaf morphology (i.e. entire or divided leafs, pinnae form), stilt root formation and cone height, as well as phenological condition (bracts, inflorescences, infrutescences) were recorded. A total of 2819 individuals (376±58 ind/ha) were found and grouped into three broad age categories (Seedlings, Juveniles, Adults). The category Seedlings, consisting of 96.6% of the individuals, was characterized by individuals with entire leafs and stilt root absence. This category was subdivided into six sub-categories that were statistically different based on height, number and leaf morphology. The Juvenile category consisted of 1.5% of the total number of individuals, which have pinnate leaves, stilt root cone lower than 1 m, and lack of reproductive structures. This category was divided into two subcategories (Juvenile I and II). The Adult category included pinnate individuals with stilt root cone above 1 m height and with reproductive structures. It corresponded to 1.9% individuals and was subdivided into two subcategories (Adults I and II) based on significant differences in the trunk height. The population density of this palm exhibited the common pattern found in other natural populations of tropical plants, that is, following a Poisson model where individuals at early life stages (Seedlings) are very abundant, decreasing in number with age (Juveniles and Adults). Within the ten age categories and subcategories described, Seedlings II was the most abundant (129±38 ind/ha) while Juveniles I was the least (3±2 ind/ha). Adult density was slightly higher than that of Juveniles. We discuss the importance of using a more refined age categorization.

Keywords : Age categories; population density; solitary palm; Amacayacu National Park; seedlings.

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