A Caribbean Forest Tapestry: The Multidimensional Nature of Disturbance and Response

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Nicholas Brokaw
OUP USA, Jun 28, 2012 - 460 pages
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Global change threatens ecosystems worldwide, and tropical systems with their high diversity and rapid development are of special concern. We can mitigate the impacts of change if we understand how tropical ecosystems respond to disturbance. For tropical forests and streams in Puerto Rico this book describes the impacts of, and recovery from, hurricanes, landslides, floods, droughts, and human disturbances in the Luquillo Mountains of Puerto Rico. These ecosystems recover quickly after natural disturbances, having been shaped over thousands of years by such events. Human disturbance, however, has longer-lasting impacts. Chapters are by authors with many years of experience in Puerto Rico and other tropical areas and cover the history of research in these mountains, a framework for understanding disturbance and response, the environmental setting, the disturbance regime, response to disturbance, biotic mechanisms of response, management implications, and future directions. The text provides a strong perspective on tropical ecosystem dynamics over multiple scales of time and space.
 

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Contents

Old Questions and Continuing Challenges
3
Disturbance Gradients and Ecological Response
42
3 Geographic and Ecological Setting of the Luquillo Mountains
72
4 Disturbance Regime
164
5 Response to Disturbance
201
Linking Disturbance Regimes Species Characteristics and Dynamics of Communities and Ecosystems
272
7 Management Implications and Applications of LongTerm Ecological Research
305
Synthesis and Foundations for the Future
361
Index
443
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About the author (2012)


NB: Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies, University of Puerto Rico-R�o
TRC: Department of Aquatic and Earth Sciences, Utah State University
AEL: International Institute of Tropical Forestry, USDA Forest Service
WHM: Department of Natural Resources, University of New Hampshire
FNS: Department Earth & Environmental Science, University of Pennsylvania
RBW: LTER Network Office, University of New Mexico
MRW: Center for Environmental Science, University of Connecticut

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