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Succession following clear-cutting in a humid lowland forest in Costa Rica

by Hunter, J.R.
Publisher: 1990ISSN: 0304-3711.Subject(s): SUCESION ECOLOGICA | ECOLOGIA | SINECOLOGIA | BIODIVERSIDAD | BOSQUES | COSTA RICA | ECOLOGICAL SUCCESSION | ECOLOGY | SYNECOLOGY | BIODIVERSITY | FORESTS | COSTA RICA | SUCCESSION ECOLOGIQUE | ECOLOGIE | SYNECOLOGIE | BIODIVERSITE | FORET | COSTA RICA In: Brenesia (Costa Rica) (no.32) p. 1-18Summary: Patterns of succession were studied in a humid, lowland Costa Rican forest to examine how biomass, species composition and diversity changed through time. To initiate the work, slightly over one hectare of a 10-yr-old secondary forest was cleared. Numbers of plant species and individuals, as represented by stem count, were recorded from 4 replicated plots (with a total area of 16 m2) which were harvested on a monthly basis for the first 15 months, then at longer intervals. Other data recorded from each plot were total (fresh) biomass (weighed in the field), oven dry and ash weights (estimated from samples of the fresh biomass collected), and average height of plants. Data gathering was terminated 36 months after cutting the area. Two months following felling, 1535 individual plant stems per unit area (16 m2) were counted and 8 months later a total of 30 species were identified. After 3 yr, the numbers of individual stems had decreased to 141 per plot (16 m2) and the total number of species had decreased to 15, six of which were not among the original 30. Data are tabulated on all the species collected at each harvest. The changes found are analysed graphically and discussed.
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Patterns of succession were studied in a humid, lowland Costa Rican forest to examine how biomass, species composition and diversity changed through time. To initiate the work, slightly over one hectare of a 10-yr-old secondary forest was cleared. Numbers of plant species and individuals, as represented by stem count, were recorded from 4 replicated plots (with a total area of 16 m2) which were harvested on a monthly basis for the first 15 months, then at longer intervals. Other data recorded from each plot were total (fresh) biomass (weighed in the field), oven dry and ash weights (estimated from samples of the fresh biomass collected), and average height of plants. Data gathering was terminated 36 months after cutting the area. Two months following felling, 1535 individual plant stems per unit area (16 m2) were counted and 8 months later a total of 30 species were identified. After 3 yr, the numbers of individual stems had decreased to 141 per plot (16 m2) and the total number of species had decreased to 15, six of which were not among the original 30. Data are tabulated on all the species collected at each harvest. The changes found are analysed graphically and discussed.

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