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    Author(s): Juan A. Torres
    Date: 1994
    Source: Biotropica. 1994; 26(2):124-140.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (1003 B)


    Changes in wood density, nutrient content, and invertebrate populations throughout the decay of Cyrilla racemiflora (Cyrillaceaea) were compared with those observed in temperate woody tree species. Wood density tended ro remain constant as decay advanced except in the late stages. Nutrients (N, P, Ca, Mg) were in highest concentrations in intact bark, surface wood, and wood in advanced decay. Concentrations of N and P were highly correlated, as were concentrations of Ca and Mg. The C/N ratio was determined mainly by changes in N because C tended to remain constant as decay proceeded. The C/N ratio of wood in advanced decay was 79, one of the lowest reported, and the concentration of N was one of the highest reported (0.69%) in studies of wood decomposition. Nitrogen and P were in greater concentrations in the feces of the cerambycid Parandra cribata than in surrounding wood. A total of 138 inverrebrate species was identified. The number of species increased as decay progressed. Termites (Parvitermes discolor and Glyptotermes pubescens) and ants (Pheidole moerens, Paratrechina spp. and Solenopsis spp.) were the most abundant invertebrates, with ants more abundant in snags than in logs. The scarcity of bark beetles and wood borers such as carpenter ants and bees in the wood of C. racemiflora contrasted with reports of their presence in dead wood from other tree species.

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    Torres, Juan A. 1994. Wood decomposition of Cyrilla racemiflora in a tropical montane forest. Biotropica. 1994; 26(2):124-140.


    Cyrilla racemiflora, invertebrates, nutrients, Puerto Rico, tropics, wood decompoosition

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