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)

Nicholas Brokaw is with the Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio.Todd Crowl is with the Department of Aquatic and Earth Sciences at Utah State University. Ariel Lugo is with the International Institute of Tropical Forestry at the USDA ForestService.William McDowell is with the Department of Natural Resources at the University of New Hampshire. Frederick Scatena is with the Department Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania.Robert Waide is with the LTER Network Office at the University of New Mexico . MichaelWillig is with the Center for Environmental Science at the University of Connecticut.

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