Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): John K. Francis
    Date: 2006
    Source: Caribbean Journal of Science, Vol. 42, No. 1, :67-74,
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: View PDF  (95 B)

    Description

    A considerable portion of the former dry and dry-transition-to-moist forests of Puerto Rico dominated by Bucida buceras L. was transformed by land clearing and periodic fires to tall grasslands dominated by Urochloa maximum Jacq. and savannas with scattered small trees and shrubs. These communities, maintained by fires, are relatively stable and difficult to reforest. A study was carried out to test whether natural recolonization of forest species might be accelerated by excluding grazing livestock or by planting trees to facilitate natural succession. Experimental treatments included grazing exclusion and planting of Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit (giant variety) at 2 x 2 m and 4 x 4 m, as well as an unprotected control. Tree growth, herbaceous aboveground biomass, and floristic diversity were monitored in experimental plots for 6 years. Floristic diversity (principally weedy species) increased during the first 3 years in grazed plots but decreased thereafter; biodiversity in grazing-protected plots decreased steadily over time. Herbaceous biomass remained fairly constant in grazed plots, increased gradually in protected plots, and decreased precipitously in planted plots after tree basal area surpassed 8 m2/ha. The results of this study suggest that while the suppression of dominant grasses, either by controlled grazing or shading by planted trees can facilitate regeneration of native dry forest plant species, this process is both slow and uncertain on highly degraded sites, and likely to require decades before natural succession processes result in vegetation structure and species composition resembling that of native dry forest stands.

    Publication Notes

    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Francis, John K.; Parrotta, John A. 2006. Vegetation Response to Grazing and Planting of Leucaena leucocephala in a Urochloa maximum-dominated Grassland in Puerto Rico. Caribbean Journal of Science, Vol. 42, No. 1:67-74,

    Keywords

    forest restoration, dry forests, floristic biodiversity, grazing, natural regeneration, reforestation

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/30044