Litterfall along topographic gradients at lower Bisley

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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 in Puerto Rico. Litter transfers into streams, riparian and upslope areas were determined within each catchment. The recovery rate of aboveground fine litterfall (leaf, fine wood <1 cm diameter, and other miscellaneous inputs) to predisturbance 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%, 31- 35%, 14-35% and 7-12% of the total litter transfers were contributed by leaf litter, fine wood, coarse wood and fine roots, respectively. At Bisley, 28-31%, 26-29%, 33-35% and 8-10% 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 aboveground litterfall to pre-hurricane levels after 5 yr varied by topographic location (streams had the slowest recovery, upslope areas the highest) and catchment (El Verde: 55-77%; Bisley: 39-82% of pre-hurricane values).

Date Range: 
1989-08-28 00:00:00 to 1992-06-06 00:00:00

Publication Date: 

2011-04-05 00:00:00



Additional Project roles: 

Name: Eda Melendez-Colom Role: Data Manager
Name: Janine Bloomfield Role: Associated Researcher
Name: Javier Perez Role: Associated Researcher
Name: John Ranciato Role: Associated Researcher
Name: Paul Boon Role: Associated Researcher
Name: Xiao-Yun Wang Role: Associated Researcher


This study was conducted in a Tabonuco forest type classified as a subtropical wet forest in the Luquillo Experimental Forest in northeastern Puerto Rico. The dominant tree species was Dacroydes excelsa with Prestoea montana and Sloanea berteriana as commonly associated species (Brown et al. 1983). Soils were classified as clay and silty clay loam ultisols in the Los Guineos soil series (Boccheciamp 1977). Annual rainfall is approximately 3600 mm with the drier periods typically occurring between January and April (Brown et al. 1983). Mean monthly air temperatures are relatively constant throughout the year with lows of 21C in December-January, and highs of 24C between July-September. These forest types are described in greater detail in Brown et al. (1983), Scatena (1989) and Zou et al.(1995).



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