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Hurricanes, Humans, and Future Ecosystems

By developing a model that simulates how forests react to multiple disturbances, scientists at Luquillo LTER found that interactions between hurricane and human impacts lead to forests with new compositions of tree species.

Thompson, J., N. Brokaw, J. K. Zimmerman, R. B. Waide, E. M. Everham, III, D. J. Lodge, C. M. Taylor, D. García-Montiel, and M. Fluet. 2002. Land use history, environment, and tree composition in a tropical forest. Ecological Applications 12:1344-1363.
Uriarte, M., C. D. Canham, J. Thompson, and J. K. Zimmerman. 2004. A maximum-likelihood, neighborhood analysis of tree growth and survival in a tropical forest. Ecological Monographs 71:591-614.
Uriarte, M., C. D. Canham, J. Thompson, J. K. Zimmerman, L. Murphy, A. M. Sabat, N. Fetcher, and B. L. Haines. 2009. Understanding natural disturbance and human land use as determinants of tree community dynamics in subtropical wet forest: results from a forest simulator. Ecological Monographs 79:423-443.
Dr. Jill Thompson
Dr. María Uriarte
Sawyers in the Luquillo Mountains in the early 20th Century.
USDA Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Land use history and current distribution of tree species on the Luquillo Forest Dynamics Plot, Puerto Rico. Cover Classes 1, 2, and 3 are areas on the plot where there was intensive land use until the 1930s. Cover Class 4 is an area that was used only lightly. The spatial distributions today of Dacryodes exclesa (D. excelsa) and Casearia arborea (C. arborea) correspond to those past land used, as do the distributions of other tree species.
Jill Thompson



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