A Strategy for Restoration of Montane Forest in Anthropogenic Fern Thickets in the Dominican Republic
This study looked at the potential of different tree species to grow in clearings in fern-dominated thickets in a state of arrested succession. It was conducted in the Ébano Verde Scientific Reserve in the Dominican Republic with subtropical montane forest.
Research Goals & Methods
The authors cleared fern-dominated shrubs with machetes and planted 18 species of early and late successional trees and shrubs with and without a single application of fertilizer.
Conclusions & Takeaways
In the clearings, natural regeneration was patchy and species poor. After three years, the survival of different species within the clearings did not differ with life history. However, early successional species grew faster than late successional species. Fertilization with chicken manure improved growth in one species with high mortality (Brunellia comocladifolia) and suvivorship in one other species (Piper aduncum). Three years after clearing and planting the soils had low pH and low phosophorous, though this did not differ significantly from uncleared thicket areas. After clearing, tree species that were common in the thickets (M. coriacea and B. comocladifolia) grew no better than other species common in the area. The species with the best combination of growth and survivorship were Alchornea latifolia and Inga fagifolia.
A Strategy for Restoration of Montane Forest in Anthropogenic Fern Thickets in the Dominican Republic. Restoration Ecology. 2006;14:526–536. doi:10.1111/j.1526-100x.2006.00164.x..
- Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan
- Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA
- Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan
- Departamento de Biologia Vegetal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Vigo, Vigo, Spain