Tropical Dry Forest Recovery: Processes and Causes of Change

Tropical Dry Forest Recovery: Processes and Causes of Change


This paper aims at unraveling processes and pathways of tropical dry forest (TDF) secondary succession occurring after traditional shifting-cultivation practices. It focuses on the study of community dynamics, the development of forest structure, and changes in floristic composition, to understand what makes a group of species to be present, dominant, and eventually disappear, at a certain space and time. The work begins with a section on the use of tree rings to determine the ages of fallows. 


The study was conducted on the hilly landscape surrounding the village of Nizanda (16°39’30” N, 95°00’40” W) on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico. Using appropriate methods,  findings on chronosequence patterns of change in forest diversity, structure and species composition are presented.


The author finds that secondary succession of the tropical dry forest is strongly driven by a common set of deterministic, underlying factors.  However, the study concludes that the findings should not be ultimately seen as clear-cut differences between dry and wet tropical forests and emphasize that more studies along more environmental and disturbance gradients are needed to improve  understanding of  theoretical models on secondary forest succession. 



Trejos, E. E. Lebrija. 2009. “Tropical Dry Forest Recovery : Processes and Causes of Change.” Phd, [S.l.]: S.n.


  • Wageningen University, The Netherlands