Tropical storms are the principal cause of landslides in montane rainforests, such as the Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF) of Puerto Rico . A storm in 2003 caused 30 new landslides in the LEF that we used to examine prior hypotheses that slope stability and organically enriched soils are prerequisites for plant colonization. We measured slope stability and litterfall in 1 m2 plots 8-13 months following landslide formation. At 13 months we also measured microtopography, soil characteristics (organic matter, particle size, total nitrogen, and water holding capacity), elevation, distance to forest edge, and canopy cover, as well as plant aboveground biomass, plant cover, and root biomass.
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Complete reference for information of the landslides selected: Shiels, A. B., C.A. West, L. Weiss, P.D. Klawinski, and L.R. Walker. 2008. Soil factors predict initial plant colonization on Puerto Rican landslides. Plant Ecology 195:165-178.