Linking disturbance history to current forest structure to assess the impact of disturbances in tropical dry forests
Tropical dry forests are given less attention in studies compared to tropical humid forests, but they still experience high levels of disturbance, both natural and human-made. These disturbances heavily alter the characteristics of valuable remaining forest structures. There are gaps in knowledge about how the timing and type of disturbance affects forest structure in seasonally dry tropical forests.
Goals and Methods
The authors set out to determine how different types of disturbance impact both the timeline of forest recovery, as well as the trajectory and characteristics of recovery. In the Argentine Dry Chaco, the authors use remote sensing maps that display the location and timing of disturbances as well as detail biomass, tree, and shrub cover. Disturbances are either fire, drought, logging, partial clearing, or riparian changes.
Conclusions and Takeaways
Tree cover, shrub cover, and biomass all show increased values as with increasingly older disturbances. Tree cover and biomass show higher values after natural disturbances compared to anthropogenic disturbances. The authors state that remote sensing is a potentially effective tool to measuring long-term spatial indicators of forest succession. They recommend routine checkups of forest structure and coverage post-disturbance using this technology to monitor recovery and prioritize management strategies.
Linking disturbance history to current forest structure to assess the impact of disturbances in tropical dry forests. Forest Ecology and Management. 2023;539:120989. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2023.120989..