Invasion impact by Pteridium arachnoideum (Kaulf.) Maxon (Dennstaedtiaceae) on a neotropical savanna
Acta Botânica Brasílica
Whether management intervention is required to control biological invasions depends primarily on demonstrating species losses resulting from such invasions. Brackens of the Pteridium genus are currently regarded as a problem species that act as important ecological filters in the assembly of invaded communities. We investigated the effects of Pteridium arachnoideum invasion on the diversity, structure, floristic composition, and functional traits of cerradão in Assis, São Paulo, Brazil. We
... lo, Brazil. We compared an invaded site with an adjacent non-invaded site. Bracken constrained the establishment of tree species, resulting in a community structure remarkably distinct from the non-invaded area. The density and basal area of the arboreal community were higher in non-invaded areas, but large trees were more frequent in the invaded areas. However, bracken did not reduce tree species diversity. Both richness and diversity were higher in the invaded area, indicating that over time, tree species richness and diversity naturally recovered, albeit slowly, in the invaded area. Therefore, one cannot attribute the loss of richness in the Cerrado vegetation to bracken invasion. Hence, we argue that, in this system, eradication of this invasive species is not likely to be cost effective, and thus, it should be a low management priority. Acta bot. bras. 29(2): 213-222. 2015.