We examined forest structure, tree species composition, litterfall rate, and leaf litter decomposition in a mid-successional forest (MSF) and an adjacent mature tabonuco forest (MTF) in the Luquillo Experimental Forest of Puerto Rico. Whereas the MTF site received limited human disturbance, the MSF site had been cleared for timber production by the beginning of this century and was abandoned after hurricanes struck the Luquillo Mountains in the 1920s and 1930s. We found that the MSF was dominated by successional tree species 50 yrs after secondary succession, and did not differ in tree basal area and litterfall rate from the MTF. Leaf decomposition rate in the MSF was higher than in the MTF, but this difference was small. Our results show that deforestation has long-term (>50 years) influence on tree species composition and that leaf decomposition processes in secondary forest is relatively faster than recovery of tree species composition.
Additional Project roles:
|Variables Descriptions||Data File||Date Range|
|Mean Monthly leaffall rate of eight common species before Hugo||litttab1.csv||1980-11-01 to 1981-10-31|
|Monthly separated ( by litterfall type) leaffall rate before Hugo||litttab3.csv||1980-11-01 to 1981-10-01|
|Monthly separated leaffall rate of eight common species before Hugo||litttab2.csv||1980-11-01 to 1981-10-01|
|Monthly separated (all months) leaffall rate before Hugo||RateByMonth.csv||1980-11-01 to 1981-10-01|