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Short-term response of secondary forests to hurricane disturbance in Puerto Rico, USA
 

Summary: Short-term response of secondary forests to hurricane
disturbance in Puerto Rico, USA
John B. Pascarellaa,*
, T. Mitchell Aideb
, Jess K. Zimmermanc
a
Department of Biology, Valdosta State University, 1500 N. Patterson Street, Valdosta, GA 31698, USA
b
Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, PO Box 23360, San Juan, PR 00931-3360, USA
c
Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, PO Box 23341, San Juan, PR 00931-3341, USA
Received 5 February 2004; received in revised form 24 May 2004; accepted 24 May 2004
Abstract
We examined the short-term (45 years) dynamics of stand structure and species composition of two chronosequences of
secondary forest stands derived from abandoned cattle pastures (1581 years since abandonment) in the Luquillo and Carite
Mountains of eastern Puerto Rico. In 1998, Hurricane Georges struck Puerto Rico, affecting both chronosequences.
Stem densities decreased in all sites with a significant effect of age-class. Intermediate-aged sites had the greatest decrease in
density and the largest change in the distribution of size classes. Although there was a significant decrease in the small size
classes (<10 cm dbh), due to physical damage from falling debris, there was a large increase in the 1020 cm dbh classes, due to
growth of surviving stems. Basal area decreased in 11 of the 15 sites and showed only a slight gain in the other sites. Species

  

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

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology