Forest change in Luquillo, Puerto Rico

The Luquillo Long Term Ecological Research Program has been set up to understand how climate and land use changes are affecting terrestrial and aquatic systems in North-Eastern Puerto Rico, from the peak of the Luquillo Mountains to the city of San Juan. One of the projects carried out at this long-term study site is the Forest Dynamics Plot (also called Hurricane Recovery Plot). This forest grid is a 16 ha forest plot, that is also one of the CTFS sites (Smithsonian Center for Tropical Forest Science network of large tropical forest plots).

Nearby, Dr Ariel Lugo, co-PI at Luquillo, and Dr Tamara Heartsill have carried out analyses of tree censuses in the subtropical wet forests of the Bisley Experimental Watersheds of the Luquilo Experimental Forest since 1988. They have added these data to the BIOFRAG project. The time-series nature of these data may provide extra insight into changes of biodiversity over time and will aid us in validating our BIOFRAG metric.

Heartsill Scalley T et al. 2010. Changes in Structure, Composition, and Nutrients During 15 Years of Hurricane-induced Succession in a Subtropical Wet Forest in Puerto Rico. Biotropica, 42, 455-463.

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