Date of Award
College of Natural Science and Mathematics, Biological Sciences
Patrick H. Martin
Anna A. Sher
Shannon M. Murphy
Dominican Republic, Tropicale montane forest, Forests, Climate change
Owing to the geographic isolation and unique climatic conditions which occur in tropical montane forests (TMFs), these systems are highly sensitive to changes in both climate and disturbance. Therefore, as ongoing climate change alters disturbance regimes – potentially facilitating multiple disturbance interactions much greater than that of isolated disturbances – TMFs may be shifted to alternate stable states. However, study of TMF resilience is essentially unknown given the lack of long-term studies in these systems. We address the resiliency of the tropical montane pine forests of the Cordillera Central, Dominican Republic using long-term climate records, remeasured vegetation data, and reconstructed hurricane and fire disturbances. We found that drought and hurricane damage were important factors leading to higher-severity fires, but that overall forest resilience is robust. We conclude that climate change, changing fire behavior, and prior hurricane damage have all interacted to alter the future ecology of these tropical montane pine forests.
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Daniel Erland Brugger Swann
Received from ProQuest
Swann, Daniel Erland Brugger, "The Ecological Resilience of a Tropical Montane Pine Forest to Droughts, Fire, and Hurricane Disturbance" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1880.