Site: Luquillo LTER

Luquilla field station, El Verde, after Hurricane Irma (just a few weeks before Hurricane Maria)
Credit: Melissa Salva

Luquilla field station, El Verde, after Hurricane María
Credit: Melissa Salva

Luquilla field station, El Verde, in 2020
Credit: Melissa Salva

The long term Canopy Trimming Experiment revealed many important aspects of hurricane disturbance, particularly that canopy opening caused more change in biota and biogeochemistry than debris deposition. More frequent disturbance led to canopy opening but less debris deposition, and changed forest species composition, which may alter resilience in the face of future disturbances. Frequent hurricane disturbance causes forest ecosystems to retain less carbon and export more nutrients.