Forty Years of Tropical Forest Recovery from Agriculture: Structure and Floristics of Secondary and Old-Growth Riparian Forests in the Dominican Republic

Martin, P.H., R.E. Sherman and T.J. Fahey

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Interest in tropical secondary forests has grown as large areas of agriculture have been abandoned in recent decades; yet, there are few long-term studies of post-agriculture vegetation recovery in the tropics. In this study, we compared the vegetation structure and floristic composition of old-growth and 40-year-old secondary riparian forests in the Cordillera Central, Dominican Republic. This study revealed the potential for the rapid recovery of woody plant diversity and structure in fertile secondary forests adjacent to mature forest seed sources and the more delayed recovery of nonwoody plant diversity and abundance.

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Peer-reviewed Article