The Effects of Hurricane Hugo in Three Tropical Forests in the U.S. Virgin Islands

TitleThe Effects of Hurricane Hugo in Three Tropical Forests in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1991
AuthorsReilly, AE
Volume23
Issue4a
Pagination414-419
Date Published06/1991
Accession NumberLUQ.1113
Abstract

Hurricanes frequently affect the forests of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, but there has been little study of their effects on the island's vegetation. Hurricane Hugo hit St. John on 17-18 September 1989 Six weeks later damage was assessed in three plots on the island (1.0 or 0.5 ha; in subtropical moist and subtropical dry life zones) that were established and inventoried before the hurricane. Most damage involved loss of small branches; loss of major limbs, crown loss, tip-ups, and snapped stems were less common. Taller and larger diameter trees were usually more severely damaged than shorter and smaller diameter trees; forests on slopes facing hurricane winds were damaged more than leeward forests; low elevations received more damage than higher elevations within each forest plot. Overall, damage to vegetation seemed minor, judging from the relative number of stems in different classes of damage severity.

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