Description of the spatial structure of vegetation is the first step in generating hypotheses regarding underlying processes. It is also important to take into account variation in spatial structure between different localities to be able to distinguish between life history traits and the influence of environment on population processes. Correlogram analysis was used to examine spatial recruitment and mortality patterns of Aspidosperma polyneuron, an emergent tree species, at Reserva Municipal de Santa Genebra (SG), a forest fragment in southeast Brazil. The spatial structure of individuals was compared with two areas with similar physiognomy, one in the same forest and another at Mata do Ribeirão Cachoeira (RC), a semi-deciduous forest located ca. 14 km away. Seedling, sapling and adult mortality occurred in clumps, while seedling recruitment occurred mostly in one region of the area. The spatial pattern varied among the three study areas, and the differences were higher between fragments than within SG. The adults showed a negative correlation in space with saplings and seedlings in one of the SG areas, which could be a consequence of intraspecific competition, or the influence of density or distance dependent natural enemies. However, this pattern was not observed in the other areas. The results suggest that the mechanisms governing the spatial population dynamics of A. polyneuron vary among nearby and similar localities.Nomenclature: Carvalho (1994); Lorenzi (1992).Abbreviations: bd = Basal diameter; RC = Mata do Ribeirão Cachoeira; SG = Reserva Municipal de Santa Genebra.