Using artificial canopy gaps to restore Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona vittata) habitat in tropical timber plantations
This study tests whether or not man-made canopy gaps can restore native tree diversity as food sources for the endagered Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona vittata). The site is located within a non-native blue mahoe (Hibiscus elatus) plantation in the Río Abajo forest in central Puerto Rico, where the researchers planted native species in assisted natural regeneration. The gaps were created in 20m x 20m plots by girdling and applying herbicide on non-native trees and by clearing leaf litter and vegetation, creating space for planted and naturally established advance regeneration seedlings.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The study concludes that canopy gaps in plantations are necessary to allow for the recruitment and regeneration of fruit-bearing trees (ex: palms like Prestoea montana and Roystonea borinquena), which are predicted to increase overstory diversity over time. However, for these species to reach the canopy, it is necessary to continually manage the plantation, removing the blue mahoe and re-opening gaps to continue promoting native species growth.
Using artificial canopy gaps to restore Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona vittata) habitat in tropical timber plantations. Forest Ecology and Management. 2007;243:169–177. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2007.02.003..
- Department of Plant Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA
- Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, University of Washington, Bothell, WA, USA
- Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
- Department of Statistics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA
- Office of the President, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA