EFFECT OF FIRE ON FLOWERING AND FRUITING OF ANACARDIUM HUMILE (ANACARDIACEAE) IN CERRADO STRICTO SENSU

ABSTRACT Knowledge about the effects of fire on sexual reproduction of Cerrado woody species is fundamental for elaborating public policies and management plans for its conservation. The present study evaluated the effect of a controlled burning on flowering and fruiting of Anacardium humile in an Cerrado stricto sensu environment, in Cavalcante, GO. An area with no fire records for five years was submitted to controlled burning in May 2016, used as the experimental area and its adjacent areas protected from fire as control area. In each area, 16 reproductive individuals were selected and their production of floral buds, flowers and fruits, followed up for 17 months. In 2016 the production of reproductive structures was higher in the control area, since the majority of individuals of the burned area invested in the recovery of vegetative structures (branches) damaged by fire. Only three individuals flowered in the burned area in 2016 and presented greater effort in the production of buds and flowers per panicle than the individuals in the control area, however, the fruit set was equal between the areas. One year after fire, the production of reproductive structures became equal between areas. The control area presented higher fruit production in 2017 in comparison to 2016, indicating a variable pattern in annual fruit production. The impact of fire on the reproductive structures of A. humile is greater in the same year of fire and its reproductive potential can be normalized in the subsequent year.