Neotropical Secondary Forest Succession: Changes in Structural and Functional Characteristics
This paper reiviews the main biotic and abiotic factors that influence patterns of secondary forest succession in the Neotropics after complete forest clearance due to human activities.
Research Goals & Methods
The authors look at patterns of species replacement and various processes that occur during succession and suggest that the sequence of processes may be predictable even if species composition is not.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The phases of the recovery process are described: factors affecting early colonization, changes in light and soil properties, soil/vegetation feedbacks at initial and later successional stages, biomass accumulation, forest productivity, rates of species accumulation, and species composition. Results suggest that the regenerative power of Neotropical forest vegetation is high if propagule sources are close by and land use intensity before abandonment has not been severe. However, recovery is heavily dependent on interactions between site-specic factors and land use making it difficult to predict successional trajectories in anthropogenic settings.
Neotropical secondary forest succession: changes in structural and functional characteristics. Forest Ecology and Management. 2001;148:185–206. doi:10.1016/s0378-1127(00)00535-1..
- Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), Unidad de Manejo de Bosques Naturales,Turrialba, Costa Rica
- Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
- International Institute of Tropical Forestry, USDA Forest Service, Rio Piedras, PR, USA