The Structure and Composition of a Tropical Dry Forest Landscape After Land Clearance; Azuero Peninsula, Panama
This article describes natural regeneration that has occured in five different habitat types in the Azuero Peninsula of Panama. These habitat types include active pasture, 2-yr abandoned pasture, 5-yr abandoned pasture, forest riparian zones, and a secondary forest fragment. This region is characterized by agricultural and cattle ranching landcapes in areas that previously were tropical dry forest (1700 mm rainfall per year) until the mid-20th century and have recently been undergoing rapid turnover in land ownership.
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Much information on restoration and management exists for wet tropical forests of Central America but comparatively little work has been done in the dry forests of this region. Such information is critical for reforestation efforts that are now occurring throughout Central America. This paper describes processes of degradation due to land use and provides a conceptual framework for the restoration of dry tropical forest, of which less than 2% remains intact.
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