Seedling growth of the invader Calotropis procera in ironstone rupestrian field and seasonally dry forest soils

Silvia H. F. de Oliveira, Daniel Negreiros, G. Wilson Fernandes, Newton P. U. Barbosa, Rafaella Rocha, Jarcilene S. Almeida-Cortez


The present study evaluated the growth, biomass allocation and nutrient content in seedlings of the invasive and exotic especies Calotropis procera (Aiton) W.T. Aiton (Apocynaceae), cultured in greenhouse, in soils from two different ecosystems: ironstone rupestrian fields (Canga) of Brumadinho, Minas Gerais; and seasonally dry forest (Caatinga), of Serra Talhada, Pernambuco. Seedlings from the Canga treatment were significantly higher in concern to stem length, leaf biomass and total biomass. In respect to nutrient content there were higher phosphorus, iron and zinc levels in the seedlings from the Canga treatment. The iron accumulation indicates the capacity of C. procera to tolerate high levels of iron, which is characteristic of Canga soils. In the Caatinga treatment there was a higher root/ shoot ratio and a higher potassium accumulation in the plant tissues. The obtained results suggest that C. procera displays a good adaptation to the edaphic conditions of the Canga treatment, which indicates an invasive potential towards the Canga ecosystem.

Key words: Caatinga, Calotropis procera, Canga, early growth, invasion.

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