Leopold, A.C. and J. Salazar
An effort to restore wet tropical forest in Costa Rica began in 1993 with plantings of native trees in abandoned pasture land. We compared understory plant species richness in three sites planted with a mix of native tree species with understory species in two monoculture plantations and in two secondary growth (unplanted) areas. Understory species in nearby primary forest remnants are also reported for comparison. We identified 356 understory species, ranging from 46 to 134 understory species per plot. Woody species were predominant (50–80%), as were plant species relying on animals for seed dispersal (60–80%). Our data indicate that substantial progress toward understory species richness can be obtained in the first decade of wet tropical forest restoration.