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Elfin Woodland Recovery 30 years After a Plane Wreck in Puerto Rico’s Luquillo MountainsAuthor(s): PETER L.WEAVER
Source: Caribbean Journal of Science, Vol. 36, No. 1-2, 1–9,
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionGrasses and ferns characterized the recovery of elfin woodland for the first 18 years after a December 1968 airplane crash. From 1986 to 1998, ferns and woody dicots were prominent and the total aboveground dry weight biomass increased from 775 to 2210 g/m2. Woody dicots increased 3.5 times, palms 1.3 times, and ferns 4.4 times above their 1986 levels. Grasses and herbs decreased by nearly 10 %. Recovery was patchy, with some areas dominated by trees ³4 m in height and others by grasses and scattered ferns. Puerto Rican endemic trees are playing a critical role in the recovery of the elfin woodland and are prominent in mature elfin woodland as well. Endemics account for 88 to 94 % of the woody dicot stems 18 to 30 years after the wreck, and from 55 to 72 % of the stems in mature elfin woodland. The largest stems on the wreck site average about half of the typical heights and dbhs of mature elfin woodland trees, and biomass is about a fourth of that found in mature elfin woodland. Species composition is similar. It is estimated that complete recovery will take almost two centuries.
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CitationPETER L.WEAVER 2000. Elfin Woodland Recovery 30 years After a Plane Wreck in Puerto Rico’s Luquillo Mountains. Caribbean Journal of Science, Vol. 36, No. 1-2, 1–9,
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