Ecological aspects of regenerating species of an urban forest with 150 years old of forest succession: the risk of exotic species.
The presence of forest within urban centers has great importance, especially in relation to ecosystem services provided by them. Urban forests are poorly studied. Moreover, quantitative studies focused on tree flora of the present study area remain to be established. Here, we evaluated the composition, structure and diversity of species in regeneration from an urban forest, originating from a landscaping design. We sought to answer the following question: Did the forest advance in the succession process after 150 years of regeneration? The survey was done on 25 plots of 5×5 m, where all the individuals with diameter at breast height (DBH) <5 cm and height >1 m were sampled. We found 1297 individuals, distributed in 84 species. Three alien species with potential invasive acquaintance were found: Coffea arabica, Artocarpus heterophyllus and Persea americana. Coffea arabica showed the highest importance value in the community. Shannon diversity index was H′=3,10 nats.ind-1, and Pielou equability J′=0.70. The cluster analysis (Morisita-Horn coefficient) showed a community with low internal heterogeneity. The analysis of ecological groups revealed a community with predominantly early successional groups. Despite of 150 years of natural regeneration, our findings indicated a community with difficulties in advancing to higher successional stages. This study is important to highlight the risk of invasive alien species in landscaping designs.