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    Tropical secondary forests provide many products, environmental services, and recreation. These forests have a set of biological features, such as their high productivity and a uniform composition of dominant tree species. To understand the composition and structure of a secondary forest in the northern karst zone, we selected the Santa Ana Environmental Center (CASA by its Spanish acronym), Bayamón, Puerto Rico, in the San Juan metropolitan area. It lies within the subtropical moist forest zone according to the Holdridge classification system (Ewel and Whitmore 1973). The objective of this project was to identify the dominant plant species and to discuss their relationships to other species within the forest by using a conceptual model of ecological interactions. Within the CASA forest, we established a 100 m2 plot where we identified each tree to species and measured the diameter at breast height (dbh) and tree height. The species richness was 13, the stem count was 57, and the plot total basal area was 0.2675 m2. The most abundant species were the African tulip (Spathodea campanulata) and the American muskwood (Guarea guidonia). The understory was dominated by these same species. The results showed that both native and introduced species coexist in this secondary urban forest. Tree species may have reached this forest by seed dispersion performed by birds for native species, and by wind for introduced species.

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    López Machado, E.; Soto Hidalgo, K.; Heartsill-Scalley, T. 2012. Composición y estructura de un bosque tropical urbano en el karso norteno de Puerto Rico. Acta Científica. 26(1-3): 54-67.


    tropical secondary forests, ecological interactions, urban forest, native species, introduced species

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