Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Germination and allometry of the native palm tree Euterpe edulis compared to the introduced E. oleracea and their hybrids in Atlantic rainforest.

Abstract

Palms are distinctive plants of tropics and have peculiar allometric relations. Understanding such relations is useful in the case of introduced species because their ability to establish and invade must be clarified in terms of their responses in the new site. Our purpose was to assess the survival and invasive capacity of an introduced palm species in the Atlantic rainforest, Euterpe oleracea Mart., compared to the native Euterpe edulis Mart. and to the hybrids produced between the two species. Considering this, we compared the allometry in different ontogenetic stages, the germination rates, and aspects of the initial development. The ontogenetic stages proposed for both Euterpe illustrated the growth patterns described for palm trees. E. oleracea and hybrids adjusted to the geometric similarity allometric model, while E. edulis presented a slope greater than would be expected considering this model, indicating a greater height for a given diameter. E. oleracea showed the same amount of pulp per fruit as E. edulis and a similar initial development of seedlings. The main differences observed were a lower germination rate and a faster height gain of E. oleracea seedlings. We conclude that E. oleracea, which is similar to E. edulis in aspects of allometry, development, seed and seedling morphology, may be an important competitor of this native palm tree in the Atlantic Forest.