Journal Article

Plant reproduction in the Central Amazonian floodplains: challenges and adaptations

Cristiane Silva Ferreira, Maria Teresa Fernandez Piedade, Astrid de Oliveira Wittmann and Augusto César Franco

in AoB PLANTS

Published on behalf of Annals of Botany Company

Volume 2010, issue Published in print January 2010 |
Published online June 2010 | e-ISSN: 2041-2851 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aobpla/plq009

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Background

The Central Amazonian floodplain forests are subjected to extended periods of flooding and to flooding amplitudes of 10 m or more. The predictability, the length of the flood pulse, the abrupt transition in the environmental conditions along topographic gradients on the banks of major rivers in Central Amazonia, and the powerful water and sediment dynamics impose a strong selective pressure on plant reproduction systems.

Scope

In this review, we examine how the hydrological cycle influences the strategies of sexual and asexual reproduction in herbaceous and woody plants. These are of fundamental importance for the completion of the life cycle. Possible constraints to seed germination, seedling establishment and formation of seed banks are also covered. Likewise, we also discuss the importance of river connectivity for species propagation and persistence in floodplains.

Conclusions

The propagation and establishment strategies employed by the highly diversified assortment of different plant life forms result in contrasting successional stages and a zonation of plant assemblages along the flood-level gradient, whose species composition and successional status are continuously changing not only temporally but also spatially along the river channel.

Journal Article.  7699 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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