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Recovery of the Rain Forest of Southeastern Nicaragua After Destruction by Hurrican Joan

Katherine Yih, Douglas H. Boucher, John H. Vandermeer and Nelson Zamora
Biotropica
Vol. 23, No. 2 (Jun., 1991), pp. 106-113
DOI: 10.2307/2388295
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2388295
Page Count: 8
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Recovery of the Rain Forest of Southeastern Nicaragua After Destruction by Hurrican Joan
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Abstract

Hurricane Joan badly damaged the rain forest of southeastern Nicaragua in October 1988, toppling or snapping off 80 percent of the trees and completely destroying the canopy over an area of 500,000 ha. An international expedition to the area in February 1989 found an unexpected pattern of recovery, with a large majority of damaged trees resprouting. Regeneration is dominated by sprouts and seedlings of primary forest species, rather than secondary pioneers. Little or no reduction in tree species richness has occurred, although bird and bat populations seem to have decreased considerably. The "direct regeneration" observed after this large disturbance of primary forest, challenges previous views of both the pattern of secondary succession and the nature of primary rain forest.

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