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Second GrowthThe Promise of Tropical Forest Regeneration in an Age of Deforestation$
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Robin L. Chazdon

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226117911

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226118109.001.0001

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Tropical Forest Dynamics and Disturbance Regimes

Tropical Forest Dynamics and Disturbance Regimes

(p.55) Chapter 4 Tropical Forest Dynamics and Disturbance Regimes
Second Growth

Robin L. Chazdon

University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on the dynamics of old-growth tropical forests and the legacies of different types of disturbances on their present structure and floristic composition. Natural disturbance regimes interact with anthropogenic disturbance to influence forest composition and structure. Disturbances can be compared based on four major features: spatial extent, frequency, duration, and severity. Disturbance legacies are most pronounced during early stages of forest regeneration, but they may be observed after hundreds of years as remaining individuals from cohorts of long-lived tree species that established early in stand development. Small-scale dynamics are often homogenized and masked by large-scale stability. Rates of recovery of different forest attributes are strongly affected by the spatial and temporal scale of disturbances and by effects on soil properties. Human disturbances that mimic small-scale natural disturbances and minimize soil disturbance will also favor rapid rates of forest regeneration.

Keywords:   Biomass, disturbance, forest dynamics, patches, regeneration, vegetation

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