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PeerJ. 2019 May 28;7:e6974. doi: 10.7717/peerj.6974. eCollection 2019.

Secondary Succession under invasive species (Pteridium aquilinum) conditions in a seasonal dry tropical forest in southeastern Mexico.

Author information

1
Departamento de Agricultura, Sociedad y Ambiente, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
2
Departamento de Conservación de la Biodiversidad, Herbarium, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
3
División de Estudios de Postgrado e Investigación, Instituto Tecnológico de El Salto, El Salto, Durango, Mexico.
4
Departamento de Agricultura, Sociedad y Ambiente, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Campeche, Campeche, Mexico.
5
Cátedras, CONACYT, Ciudad de México, Mexico.

Abstract

The role of invasive species in ecosystem functioning represents one of the main challenges in ecology. Pteridium aquilinum is a successful cosmopolitan invasive species with negative effects on the ecological mechanisms that allow secondary succession. In this study, we evaluated the influence of P. aquilinumon secondary succession under different disturbances in a seasonal dry forest of the Yucatán Peninsula. We determined species richness, composition and the relative importance value in four sampling units. Fabaceae followed by Asteraceae, Meliaceae, Rubiaceae, Sapindaceae and Verbenaceae were the most species rich families. A dissimilarity analysis determined significant differences in beta diversity between sampling units. With a generalized linear model we found that species richness was best explained by site conditions, followed by calcium and soil organic matter. Also, the generalized linear model showed that abundance resulted in a strong correlation with site conditions and soil characteristics. Specific soil conditions related to phosphoro and calcium were also detected as beneficiary to the successional processes. Our results suggest that applying fire restriction and periodic cutting of the bracken fern, this can increase a higher diversity of species.

KEYWORDS:

Bracken fern; Fire; Invasive species; Secondary succession; Yucatán Peninsula

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare there are no competing interests.

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