Forest Dynamics

Soil macrofauna and litter nutrients in three tropical tree plantations on a disturbed site in Puerto Rico

Background

Tree plantations are increasingly common in tropical landscapes due to their multiple uses. Plantations vary in structure and composition, and these variations may alter soil fauna communities. Recent studies have demonstrated the important role of soil fauna in the regulation of plant litter decomposition in the tropics. However, little is known about how plantation species affect soil fauna populations, which may in turn affect the biogeochemistry of the plantation system.

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Tree species effects on soil properties in experimental plantations in tropical moist forest

Background

Forest soil properties are influenced by the complex interactions of vegetation, soil type, geology, management, and climactic patterns. Tree species can differ in their long-term effects on soils. This study resamples one of the earliest replicated experimental sites at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica, used to examine the effects of native tropical tree species on soil properties, to examine longer term effects on soil properties.

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Vegetation recovery on earthquake-triggered landslide sites in the Ecuadorian Andes

Background

In this study, researchers surveyed vegetation in a landslide on the Quijos river in Ecuador and inventoried species distribution at distances along the landslide.

Conclusions & Takeaways

The authors found that species composition at the upper limit of the landslide is most similar to the plant composition of the forest, indicating that the forest is an important pool of colonizers. The authors suggest that earthquake landslides are common and an important contributor to floristic diversity

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Evidence of Incipient Forest Transition in Southern Mexico

background

This study uses satelite images (Landsat) to analyze land cover change in southern Mexico from 1990 to 2006.

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Seed inputs to microsite patch recovery on two tropandean landslides in Ecuador

Background

Regeneration of landslides is typically initiated by seed rain. This study reports on seed rain, seed pool, and plant cover on two Ecuadorian landslides.

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Seeing the fruit for the trees in Borneo

Background

Lowland dipterocarp tropical rainforests reproduce during infrequent community-wide events known as ‘general flowering.’ These unpredictable cycles, thought to be influenced by El Niño cycles, are the primary reproductive driver across this forest type. During a time of rapid deforestation across the highly diverse, but highly sensitive, dipterocarp-dominated landscape of Borneo, capitalizing on general flowering is critical for seed collection for restoration efforts and for species preservation.

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Landscape Pattern Dynamics and Mechanisms during Vegetation Restoration: A Multiscale, Hierarchical Patch Dynamics Approach

Background

This study examines patterns of restoration using permanent plots and remote sensing of a nature reserve from 1979 to the present using a multiscale, hierarchical patch dynamic framework.

Research Goals & Methods

This study attempts to document changes in time and space during the restoration of forests with the purpose of understanding its patterns and processes.

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Successional Change and Resilience of a Very Dry Tropical Deciduous Forest Following Shifting Agriculture

Background

Given substaintial conversion of very dry tropical deciduous forests in Mexico to agricultural and other land uses, this study examines forest succession over time in such ecosystems. The study was conducted near Nizanda, Oaxaca, Mexico with 26°C average temperatures and 900 mm average rainfall.

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A 10-year evaluation of the functional basis for regeneration habitat preference of trees in an African evergreen forest

Background

This study reports on the growth and survival of experimentally planted tree seedlings in the understory over a 10-year period in a moist evergreen forest at Kibale National Park in Western Uganda. 

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Consequences of plantation harvest during tropical forest restoration in Uganda

Background

Timber plantations have recently received considerable attention as a forest restoration strategy for heavily degraded lands in the humid tropics. Plantations can facilitate secondary forest regrowth by providing an understory environment more favorable for native plant recruitment than unmanaged degraded habitats. This study explores how using plantations as a restoration tool affects forest succession; how initial floristics affect successional pathways; and the effect of fire exclusion or other interventions.

Open access copy available
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