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Higher rates of liana regeneration after canopy fall drives species abundance patterns in central Amazonia

Cite this dataset

Rocha, Elisangela et al. (2020). Higher rates of liana regeneration after canopy fall drives species abundance patterns in central Amazonia [Dataset]. Dryad.


  1. In tropical rainforest, most vascular plants have some capacity to resprout, and lianas are often effective resprouters after canopy fall. However, the diversity of resprouting responses of liana species and the consequence for plant persistence is poorly understood. We hypothesized that variation in regeneration among liana species causes differences in liana species abundance in tropical rainforest through differential resprouting capacity, such that liana species with higher densities produce more resprouts after canopy falls.
  2. We applied a manipulative field experiment investigating the effect of different levels of disturbance on the production of resprouts and adventitious roots in ten liana species of the tribe Bignonieae (Bignoniaceae) with contrasting abundances in central Amazonia.  We selected 15 individuals of each species and assigned the lianas to three distinct conditions: (i) total canopy fall with lianas severely damaged and detached from trees; (ii) partial fall of lianas, without visible damage; and (iii) intact lianas (control). We tested whether liana species regeneration patterns were related to species density. Liana species density was calculated using previous research on liana species distribution in 30 1-ha plots systematically distributed in a 6 x 6 km2 grid at the Ducke Reserve.
  3. The number of aerial resprouts produced by lianas under the total canopy fall treatment was twice that of plants under lower levels of disturbance, while the production of adventitious roots did not differ among treatments. Liana species showed different intensities of resprouting, and species with higher average densities on the forest landscape had more resprouts after the total canopy fall treatment.

Synthesis:  Our results shed new light on the factors that influence liana species abundance, highlighting the role of resprouting after canopy fall and its variation among liana species. Resprouting mitigates the negative effects of canopy damage, suggesting that the impact of increased tree fall disturbances over time, which has been attributed to Amazonian forests in the literature, may increase already abundant liana species with effective resprouting capacity. We identify liana species that are more resilient to disturbance and may alter forest dynamics during climatic change.


The dataset was collected in the field of the Ducke Reserve (Manaus, Brazil).

More details are available in the associated paper in the Journal of Ecology.

Usage notes

See README file 


National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, Award: 441282/2016-4

Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Amazonas, Award: 003/2012

National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, Award: 234000/2014-7