A protocol for measuring abundance and size of a neotropical liana, Desmoncus polyacanthos (Palmae), in relation to forest structure

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Economic Botany


This study investigated the relationship between the abundance and size of D. polyacanthos and measures of forest canopy structure. Varzea and terra finite forest were selected for study at the mouth of the Amazon estuary, Para Brazil. The forest canopy characteristics investigated included individual tree height and height to base of the live portion of the crown, forest canopy depth (the distance from the lowest foliage in the understory to the top of the canopy including all free space between top and bottom), forest canopy thickness (the portion of the forest canopy depth occupied only by foliage) and forest canopy density (the sum of lengths of each of the individual crowns that make up Sorest canopy depth) (see Fig. 2b). The attributes of D. polyacanthos measured included leaf number, stein height and percent coverage within the stands. Results from this study suggest that D. polyacanthos can be encouraged to grow through selective cutting of canopy trees and promotion of regenerating forest stands on terra firme fallow. The protocol used to relate D. polyacanthos abundance and size to kind of forest canopy structure can be used for evaluation of other climbing palms.