Litter dynamics along stream, riparian and up slope areas following Hurricane Hugo, Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico

TitleLitter dynamics along stream, riparian and up slope areas following Hurricane Hugo, Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsVogt, D, Boon, P, Covich, A, Scantena, FN, Asbjornsen, H, O'Hara, J, Trez, JP, Siccama, TG, Bloomfield, J, Ranciato, JF
JournalBiotropica
Volume28
Issue4
Pagination458-470
Accession NumberLUQ.680
Keywordswood
Abstract

Litterfall (fine and coarse) due to Hurricane Hugo and subsequent fine annual litterfall inputs (1, 2 and 5 yr after Hugo) were determined for two sites (El Verde and Bisley) in the Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF) in Puerto Rico. Litter transfers into streams, riparian and upslope areas were determined within each catchment. The recovery rate of above-ground litterfall (leaf, fine wood <1 cm diameter, and other miscellaneous inputs) to pre-disturbance levels were determined 1, 2, and 5 yr after Hurricane Hugo. The amount of total litter transfers and their individual components into the riparian and upslope areas due to Hurricane Hugo varied significantly by catchments within the Luquillo Experimental Forest. At El Verde, 26-39 percent, 31-35 percent, 14-35 percent and 7-12 percent of the total litter transfers were contributed by leaf litter, fine wood, coarse wood and fine roots, respectively. At Bisley, 28-31 percent, 26-29 percent, 33-35 percent, and 8-10 percent of the litter transfers were contributed by the same categories. Differential decay rates contributed to the relative importance of fine and coarse litter inputs. The recovery of fine above-ground litterfall to pre-hurricane levels after 5 yr varied by topographic location (streams had the slower recovery, upslope areas the highest) and catchment (El Verde: 55-77%; Bisley: 39-82% of pre-hurricane values).

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