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Ecología en Bolivia

Print version ISSN 1605-2528On-line version ISSN 2075-5023


LOZADA G., Sissi  and  MORAES R., Mónica. Structure population of the Totaí palm (Acrocomia aculeata, Arecaceae) according to presence of cattle in localities of Beni and Santa Cruz departments (Bolivia). Ecología en Bolivia [online]. 2013, vol.48, n.2, pp.72-86. ISSN 1605-2528.

The population structure of the Totaí palm (Acrocomia aculeata) was evaluated regarding the presence of cattle in forests and savannas of five locations in San José de Chiquitos (Santa Cruz) and Trinidad (Beni), Bolivia. Three plots of 50 x 20 m were settled down. For palms 26 cm tall or higher, the following measures were recorded: plant height, DBH, number of pinnae, presence of mature leaves, spines, and racemes, as well as the presence of cattle by direct observation. Furthermore, seedlings were registered in 1 m2 microplots. Six growth categories were identified: seedling, juvenile 1 and 2, pre-adult, and adult 1 and 2. Places with presence of cattle showed a high number of seedlings (95.4-96.9%), few juveniles (0.5-0.03%) and pre-adults (0.3-0.08%), and intermediate levels of adults (3.8-2.9%). This trend fits into the population structure type II, where the levels of regeneration are discrete and seedling establishment is restricted. In plots without cattle in Trinidad, no seedlings and few juveniles (0-1.2%) were registered, while pre-adults were reduced (0.3%); this trend corresponds to the type III, with a severely limited regeneration level. San José presents an inverted J with individuals at all levels of growth and exponential decay from the seedling category (50.9%) to adult (27.9%), which is characteristic of a self-regenerating population. These tendencies suggest that cattle may contribute to seedling's regeneration but harm the juvenile and pre-adult phases, and on places without cattle few seedlings exist. In conclusion, good management strategies of cattle would contribute to the conservation of this palm and we give some recommendations about it.

Keywords : Acrocomia aculeata; Bolivia; Cattle; Population structure.

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