Impact of soil properties, tree layer and grass cover on forest regeneration in a mixed native species reforestation.
Natural forest recruitment is important for maintaining reforestation over time. Different variables simultaneously influence the development of the regenerating layer and are fundamental to the success of reforestation. The main objective of this study was to assess the interference and facilitation imposed by soil, canopy and invasive African grasses on species richness, species diversity, numbers of individuals, and the average height of the natural forest recruitment at Mogi-Guaçú, Brazil. The covariates assessed were: soil chemical and physical properties, tree layer, and invasive African grasses. The most significant covariates for tree regeneration indicators were the cation exchange capacity, water availability in soil, clay content, canopy openness, aboveground biomass of the tree layer, and grass cover. We conclude that soil properties did not impose a limitation to natural forest recruitment. In contrast, invasive grass cover interfered negatively on the diversity and structure of the tree regeneration.