Woody Understory Plant Diversity in Pure and Mixed Native Tree Plantations at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica
This study compares the species richness, abundance, and seed disperal method of individuals growing in the understory of native single-species plantations, native mixed-species plantations, and naturally regenerating (non-planted) areas of the La Selva biological station in Costa Rica.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The plantations were 15 and 16 years since establishment. The natural regeneration treatments had significantly lower abundance and species richness of regeneration than that found in the plantations. The authors did not find statistically significant differences between mixtures and pure plantations in terms of the abundance, species richness, and seed dispersal syndrome of understory plants. They describe that the open light conditions of the naturally regenerating stand favored the growth of grasses and ferns over woody regeneration. The majority of species found in the understory of the plantations were associated with early secondary forests, and the authors suggest that additional interventions might be necessary for restoring the floristic diversity and structural complexity of a primary forest.
Woody understory plant diversity in pure and mixed native tree plantations at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. Forest Ecology and Management. 2008;255:2251–2263. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2007.12.050..
- University of North Carolina at Asheville, Huntsville, AL, USA
- Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, CT, USA
- The University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA