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The role of fire in structuring trait variability in Neotropical savannas.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22926723     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Intraspecific trait variability plays a fundamental role in community structure and dynamics; however, few studies have evaluated its relative importance to the overall response of communities to environmental pressures. Since fire is considered a key factor in Neotropical savannas, we investigated to what extent the functional effects of fire in a Brazilian savanna occurs via intra- or interspecific trait variability. We sampled 12 traits in communities subjected to three fire regimes in the last 12 years: annual, biennial, and protected. To evaluate fire's relative effects, we fitted a general linear mixed models with species as random and fire as fixed factors, using: (1) all species in the communities (i.e., considering intra- and interspecific variabilities); (2) 18 species common to all fire regimes (i.e., intraspecific variability only); and (3) all species with their overall average trait values (i.e., interspecific variability only). We assessed the relative role of intra- or interspecific variability by comparing the significance of each trait in the three analyses. We also compared the within and between fire variabilities with a variance component analysis. Five traits presented larger intraspecific than interspecific variability, and the main effect of fire occurred at the intraspecific level. These results confirm that it is important to consider intraspecific variability to fully understand fire-prone communities. Moreover, trait variability was larger within than among fire regimes. Thus, fire may act more as an external filter, preventing some of the species from the regional pool from colonizing the cerrado, than as an internal factor structuring the already filtered cerrado communities.
Authors:
Vinícius de L Dantas; Juli G Pausas; Marco Antônio Batalha; Priscilla de Paula Loiola; Marcus Vinicius Cianciaruso
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-8-25
Journal Detail:
Title:  Oecologia     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1432-1939     ISO Abbreviation:  Oecologia     Publication Date:  2012 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-8-28     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0150372     Medline TA:  Oecologia     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
Departamento de Botânica, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, PO Box 676, São Carlos, SP, 13565-905, Brazil, viniciusldantas@gmail.com.
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