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Subsidient: Julia Kovacs/Wageningen University
Subsidy: S19.3-72

This study explores the population dynamics of Inga laurina (native) and Syzygium cumini (exotic) nursing tree species in a mine restoration site in the Brazilian Amazon. Individual growth and transition rates are analyzed to explore differences across five mining treatments with different soil characteristics, using integral projection models. The results show that both species have growing populations, however, I. laurina exhibits higher population growth rates across all mine zones than S. cumini. For both species, small size category trees contribute the most to population growth, and fecundity has greater effect than growth and survival, indicating that recruitment plays an important role. There are only minor differences between the population growth at different mining treatments for both species, which can be best explained by canopy closure and interspecific competition. This suggests that competition influences population growth more than soil quality. S. cumini as an exotic species in the system does have the potential to remain present and dominate the reforested areas, therefore, planting higher diversity of trees from the beginning of the restoration process may help overcoming potential invasiveness.