Invasion impact of Artocarpus heterophyllus LAM. (Moraceae) at the edge of an Atlantic Forest fragment in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Keywords:Jackfruit, Phytosociology, Horizontal structure, Dominance
The Atlantic Forest is reduced to less than 20 % of its original area, but it still protects an important biological heritage. Forest fragmentation makes the environment more susceptible to invasive species occupation. Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) was introduced into Brazil in the seventeenth century; and in the second half of the twentieth century, its natural regeneration increased the density of individuals, compromising the recruitment of many native species. This study investigated the impact of A. heterophyllus invasion on the diversity and tree structure component at the edge of an Atlantic Forest fragment, in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Two transect-type plots were set up with 10 m x 100 m (1,000 m2), being divided into 10 subplots of 10 m x 10 m, with a total sampling area of 2,000 m2. Trees with a diameter at breast height (DBH) equals to or greater than 5 cm were tagged and DBH and total height measured. The following phytosociological parameters were estimated: Frequency (F), Density (D), Dominance (Do), Importance (IV) and Coverage (CV) Values. In total, 191 tree individuals were sampled. Invasive species made up more than 35% of the entire vegetation structure in the studied environment, ending in first place in terms of Importance Value (IV = 35.62%). Low floristic wealth seems to have favored the A. heterophyllus invasion process in the community, showing the need for an effective control of the species for the native genetic heritage protection.