Introduction: disturbance and Caribbean ecosystems

TitleIntroduction: disturbance and Caribbean ecosystems
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsZimmerman, JK, Willig, MR, Walker, LA, Silver, WL
Date Published05/1996
Accession NumberLUQ.784

The fifteen articles in this special edition issue describe long-term (> 5 years) responses or perspectives on disturbance in Caribbean ecosystems. Most (11) of the articles describe the responses of Caribbean forests to hurricane disturbance, particularly the effects of Hurricane Hugo on wet forest in Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF), Puerto Rico. Ten articles discuss, alone or in addition to huricanes, the effects of other types of disturbance including that due to humans, tree-falls,drought, and landslides. In this introductory article we summarize the post-hurricane trajectories of various ecosystem components in the LEF. We also address how responses to other types of disturbance can be brought together to obtain a more thorough understanding of the comparative responses of the Caribbean ecosystems to different disturbances. Finally, we identify those areas of disturbance ecology in the Caribbean that require further investigation.