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Tree Damage and Annual Mortality in a Montane Forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Teri J. Matelson, Nalini M. Nadkarni and Rodrigo Solano
Biotropica
Vol. 27, No. 4 (Dec., 1995), pp. 441-447
DOI: 10.2307/2388956
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2388956
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Tree Damage and Annual Mortality in a Montane Forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica
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Abstract

In four hectares of primary montane wet forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica, 1403 live trees (>10 cm diameter at breast height) were censused for major damage and mortality during a four-year period. Overall tree damage and mortality after four years was 15.9 trees ha-1 yr-1, with over 80 percent due to snapping of trunks and uprooting of whole trees. Of the 73 stems that snapped during the study interval, 20 regenerated live foliage from their broken stems. This resulted in an actual mortality rate of 12.7 trees ha-1 yr-1, or 2.2 percent, which is in the mid-range of annual tree mortality reported for other forests. Tree death occurred during all seasons of the year, but rates were highest during the wet season. Individuals of gap-colonizing species died at a higher rate than expected from their representation in the population. This study suggests that although montane sites are subject to high winds and unstable soils, overall rates and types of mortality are similar to lowland forest sites.

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