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Response to Hurricanes of Pinus caribaea var hondurensis Plantations in Puerto RicoAuthor(s): Ariel Lugo; Carlos Rodriguez; Ian Fermont; Ivan Vicens
Source: Caribbean Naturalist
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: International Institute of Tropical Forestry
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DescriptionWe studied the response to hurricanes of 2 Pinus caribaea Morelet var. hondurensis Barr. & Golf. (Honduran Pine) plantations and paired secondary forests over a period of 32 years (1982 to 2014). Plantations differed in age (38 and 53.5 years old), as did the paired secondary forests. The study included the passage of 2 hurricanes (1989 and 1998). The hurricanes altered forest structure by lowering the basal area and tree density, accelerated tree mortality to over 5% per year and ingrowth rate to over 200 stems/ha at the Cubuy plantation, caused variability and reduction in individual tree growth rates, and dramatically changed species composition and dominance of stands. Honduran Pines were heavily affected by the hurricanes, losing dominance, and almost disappearing from the Cubuy site, in effect converting that pine plantation into a secondary forest with few pines. The susceptibility of Honduran Pine to strong winds raises concern about its suitability for plantation forestry in the hurricane belt of the Caribbean. Their use for commercial timber production would have to consider the recurrence of hurricanes in the region.
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CitationLugo, Ariel E.; Rodríguez Pedraza, Carlos D.; Fremont, Ian; Vicens, Iván. 2017. Response to Hurricanes of Pinus caribaea var hondurensis Plantations in Puerto Rico. Caribbean Naturalist. 43: 1-16.
Keywordshurricanes, Pinus caribaea var hondurensis, plantation, pine, Puerto Rico.
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