Resource Details

Forest recovery after swidden cultivation across a 40-year chronosequence in the Atlantic forest of southern Bahia, Brazil

Literature: Journal Articles

Piotto, D., Montagnini, F., Thomas, W., Ashton, M., Oliver, C. 2009, "Forest recovery after swidden cultivation across a 40-year chronosequence in the Atlantic forest of southern Bahia, Brazil", Plant Ecology, vol. 205, no. 2, pp. 261-272.

Contact Info


  • School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, 370 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511, USA
  • The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458, USA


Plant Ecology

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Species Info

Over 300 species identified. The online version of this article contains supplementary material including species lists, which is available to authorized users.


  • Secondary forest with a range of ages was compared to old growth forest in the Serra do Conduru State Park in Southern Bahia, Brazil in terms of species composition and structure. 
  • Species diversity increased from the 10 year old plots to the 25 year old and the 40 year old, with old growth plots containing the highest diversity. The 25 and 40 year old plots, however, did not significantly differ.
  • Basal area and height increased with increasing age.
  • Results show that more than 40 years are required for secondary forests to attain old growth forest structure, though species richness recovery was high with younger forests. 
  • The results support the initial floristics hypothesis, i.e. that a significant portion of old growth species are present in early stages of succession.
  • Given the high diversity of the early secondary forests, the author concludes that preservation of these young forests has high conservation value.

Geographical Region

  • Coastal Atlantic South America
  • Country

  • Brazil
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