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Ecological Applications, 13(1), 2003, pp. 225234 2003 by the Ecological Society of America
 

Summary: 225
Ecological Applications, 13(1), 2003, pp. 225­234
2003 by the Ecological Society of America
RIPARIAN VEGETATION AND STREAM CONDITION IN A TROPICAL
AGRICULTURE­SECONDARY FOREST MOSAIC
T. HEARTSILL-SCALLEY1
AND T. M. AIDE
Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00931-3360
Abstract. Changes in land cover from forest to agriculture often alter riparian vege-
tation, which modifies the physical conditions of streams. To understand the impacts of
different categories of land cover on riparian and stream habitats, we sampled riparian
vegetation and stream conditions in three adjacent watersheds in southeastern Puerto Rico.
Land cover categories (pasture, mixed, and forest) were determined using aerial photo-
graphs. Vegetation structure and composition and characteristics of streams were assessed
for 35 riparian sites. Sites were located along first-order streams, at 400­600 m elevation
in the wet-forest life zone. Understory vegetation in the forest sites was mainly shrubs,
herbs, and ferns, whereas the mixed and pasture sites were dominated by grasses, vines,
and bare soil. Syzygium jambos and Spathodea campanulata, nonnatives, and Guarea gui-
donia, a native, were the most common tree species in the riparian areas. Surrounding land
cover explained 60% of the variation among stream sites. There was a positive relationship

  

Source: Aide, Mitchell - Department of Biology, Universidad de Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology