Hurricane Hugo

Nitrogen Immobilization by Decomposing Woody Debris and the Recovery of Tropical Wet Forest from Hurricane Damage

Nitrogen Immobilization by Decomposing Woody Debris and the Recovery of Tropical Wet Forest from Hurricane Damage
J. K. Zimmerman, W. M. Pulliam, D. J. Lodge, V. Quiñones-Orfila, N. Fetcher, S. Guzmán-Grajales, J. A. Parrotta, C. E. Asbury, L. R. Walker and R. B. Waide
Oikos
Vol. 72, No. 3 (Apr., 1995), pp. 314-322

Abstract: 
Following damage caused by Hurricane Hugo (September 1989) we monitored inorganic nitrogen availability in soil twice in 1990, leaf area index in 1991 and 1993, and litter production from 1990 through 1992 in subtropical wet forest of eastern Puerto Rico. Experimental removal of litter and woody debris generated by the hurricane (plus any standing stocks present before the hurricane) increased soil nitrogen availability and above-ground productivity by as much as 40% compared to unmanipulated control plots. These increases were similar to those created by quarterly fertilization with inorganic nutrients. Approximately 85% of hurricane-generated debris was woody debris >5 cm diameter. Thus, it appeared that woody debris stimulated nutrient immobilization, resulting in depression of soil nitrogen availability and productivity in control plots. This was further suggested by simulations of an ecosystem model (CENTURY) calibrated for our site that indicated that only the large wood component of hurricane-generated debris was of sufficiently low quality and of great enough mass to cause the observed effects on productivity. The model predicted that nutrient immobilization by decaying wood should suppress net primary productivity for 13 yr and total live biomass for almost 30 yr following the hurricane. Our findings emphasize the substantial influence that woody debris has upon nutrient cycling and productivity in forest ecosystems through its effects on the activity of decomposers. We suggest that the manner in which woody debris regulates ecosystem function in different forests is significantly affected by disturbance regime.

Growth Rings, Phenology, Hurricane Disturbance and Climate in Cyrilla racemiflora L., a Rain Forest Tree of the Luquillo Mountains, Puerto Rico

Growth Rings, Phenology, Hurricane Disturbance and Climate in Cyrilla racemiflora L., a Rain Forest Tree of the Luquillo Mountains, Puerto Rico
Allan P. Drew
Biotropica
Vol. 30, No. 1 (Mar., 1998), pp. 35-49

Abstract: 
The growth phenology of Cyrilla racemiflora L., the dominant tree species of the montane rain forest, (subtropical lower montane rain forest, sensu Holdridge) of the Luquillo Mountains of Puerto Rico was studied intensively during 1989, and then semiannually through mid-1993 to determine the periodicity of changes in xylem structure. Four trees at 770 m were monitored for flowering, branch elongation, leaf litterfall, and xylem cell growth and differentiation in the lower stem, and these events were related to local seasonal patterns of rainfall and temperature. Hurricane Hugo defoliated study trees in September, 1989. Bud-break and branch elongation in March, 1989 were followed by earlywood xylem cell production in the lower stem in April and the onset of flowering in May. Leaf litterfall was greatest between April and June, coinciding with peak branch growth and new leaf formation. Latewood xylem was produced in December. The general phenological pattern was synchronized between trees and over study years. Vessel diameter and density were monitored along with thickness of earlywood and latewood and the former converted to vessel lumen area, a measure of xylem conductance capacity. Annual growth rings were formed with periods of earlywood and latewood production coinciding with traditional summer (rainy) and winter (dry) seasons, respectively, in the Luquillo Mountains. Hurricane defoliation was followed by heavy flowering in 1990, a year of reduced branch elongation and annual xylem ring width, and was associated with maximum vessel lumen area, as was flowering in 1989, prior to the hurricane. Hurricane Hugo provided a perturbation that, through its elicited stress response, allowed for the demonstration of the interplay between flowering, branching, structural growth of xylem, and xylem function.

Hurricane Effects on Soil Organic Matter Dynamics and Forest Production in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico: Results of Simulation Modeling

Hurricane Effects on Soil Organic Matter Dynamics and Forest Production in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico: Results of Simulation Modeling
Robert L. Sanford, Jr., William J. Parton, Dennis S. Ojima and D. Jean Lodge
Biotropica
Vol. 23, No. 4, Part A. Special Issue: Ecosystem, Plant, and Animal Responses to Hurricanes in the Caribbean (Dec., 1991), pp. 364-372

Abstract: 
The forests and soils at Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF), Puerto Rico, are frequently disturbed by hurricanes occurring at various frequencies and intensities. We have derived a forest version of the Century soil organic matter model to examine the impact of hurricanes on soil nutrient availability and pool sizes, and forest productivity in the tabonuco forest at Luquillo. The model adequately predicted aboveground plant production, soil carbon, and soil nitrogen levels for forest conditions existing before Hurricane Hugo. Simulations of Hurricane Hugo and of an historical sequence of hurricanes indicated a complex pattern of recovery, especially for the first 10 yr after the hurricanes. After repeated hurricanes, forest biomass was reduced, while forest productivity was enhanced. Soil organic matter, and phosphorus and nitrogen mineralization stabilized at higher levels for the LEF than for hurricane-free tabonuco forest, and organic soil phosphorus was substantially increased by hurricanes. Results from these simulations should be regarded as hypotheses. At present there is insufficient data to validate the results of hurricane model simulations.

Landslides Triggered by Hurricane Hugo in Eastern Puerto Rico, September 1989

Larsen, M. C., and Torres-Sánchez, A. J., 1992, Landslides triggered by Hurricane Hugo in eastern Puerto Rico, September 1989: Caribbean Journal of Science, vol. 28, no. 3-4, p. 113-125.

Abstract: 
On the morning of September 18, 1989, a category-four hurricane struck eastern Puerto Rico with a sustained wind speed in excess of 46 m/s. The 24-h rainfall accumulation from the hurricane ranged from 100 to 339 mm. Average rainfall intensities ranging from 34 to 39 mm/h were calculated for 4 and 6 h periods, respectively, at a rain gage equipped with satellite telemetry, and at an observer station. The hurricane rainfall triggered more than 400 landslides in the steeply sloping, highly dissected mountains of eastern Puerto Rico. Of these landslides, 285 were mapped from aerial photography which covered 6474 ha. Many of the mapped landslides were on northeast- and northwest-facing slopes at the eastern terminus of the mountains, nearest the hurricane path. The surface area of individual landslides ranged from 18 m2 to 4500 m2, with a median size of 148 m2. The 285 landslides disturbed 0.11% of the land surface in the area covered by aerial photographs. An approximate denudation rate of 164 mm/1000 y was calculated from the volume of material eroded by landsliding and the 10-y rainfall recurrence interval.

TROPICAL SYSTEMS AFFECTING THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 1989-1999 AS COMPARED TO HURRICANE HUGO

Abstract: 
The objective of this study was to examine the climatology of tropical storms that impacted the U.S. Virgin Islands from Hurricane Hugo (1989) through Hurricane Lenny (1999).

Effects of Hurricane Hugo on Manilkara bidentata, a Primary Tree Species in the Luqillo Experimental Forest of Puerto Rico

Effects of Hurricane Hugo on Manilkara bidentata, a Primary Tree Species in the Luqillo Experimental Forest of Puerto Rico
Chengxia You and William H. Petty
Biotropica
Vol. 23, No. 4, Part A. Special Issue: Ecosystem, Plant, and Animal Responses to Hurricanes in the Caribbean (Dec., 1991), pp. 400-406

Abstract: 
Changes in the population structure and recruitment characteristics of Manilkara bidentata populations were investigated at two sites (El Verde & Bisley) in the Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF), at one month and nine months after Hurricane Hugo. Fatal damage occurred to 4 percent of the trees at the El Verde site. Severe damage to mature trees disrupted seed production. Sixty percent of the young seedling population was destroyed, mainly as a result of burial by litter. For surviving seedlings, the posthurricane growth rate (in height) of old seedlings was 2 cm/mo, 17 times greater than that under prehurricane conditions. The prehurricane population of young seedlings had a large number of individuals and a long transition period (over 14 yr); whereas, the posthurricane population had fewer individuals and a shorter transition period (less than 2 yr). Increased growth rates of seedlings were related to increased light at the forest floor. The recruitment rate of the Manilkara population from the seedling size class into the sapling size class was greater than that under prehurricane conditions. Rapid adjustment to posthurricane conditions, high tree survival, and increased number of seedlings recruited into larger size classes may increase the abundance of Manilkara trees in the forest. These adaptations are especially significant in the LEF and other forests which experience frequent hurricane disturbances. Based upon the effects of Hurricane Hugo, it appears that hurricanes play an important role in releasing suppressed seedling growth of Manilkara populations and that hurricanes may contribute to the abundance of Manilkara trees in the LEF

The Impact of Hurricane Hugo on Forest Frogs in Puerto Rico

The Impact of Hurricane Hugo on Forest Frogs in Puerto Rico
Lawrence L. Woolbright
Biotropica
Vol. 23, No. 4, Part A. Special Issue: Ecosystem, Plant, and Animal Responses to Hurricanes in the Caribbean (Dec., 1991), pp. 462-467

Abstract: 
Hurricane Hugo caused extensive damage to the Luquillo Experimental Forest in September 1989 Individually marked Eleutherodactylus coqui were monitored in two study plots from January 1987 through October 1990. Survivorship estimates of adults for the period including the storm were within the normal range from previous years. Juveniles suffered severe reductions, primarily among the smaller size classes. By October 1990 adult population density had increased fourfold over prehurricane levels, although adults were smaller. Juvenile numbers also appeared to be increasing, but had not yet reached prehurricane densities. The rapid increase in density may have resulted from an increase in retreat sites and a decrease in invertebrate predators. Auditory censuses suggested that density changes for other species ranged from a 14 percent increase for the relatively common E. hedricki to an 83 percent decrease for the relatively rare E. richmondi.

The Effect of Hurricane Hugo on Bird Populations in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico

The Effect of Hurricane Hugo on Bird Populations in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico
Robert B. Waide
Biotropica
Vol. 23, No. 4, Part A. Special Issue: Ecosystem, Plant, and Animal Responses to Hurricanes in the Caribbean (Dec., 1991), pp. 475-480

Abstract: 
Abstract Hurricane Hugo caused severe but short-term disruption of the avian community of a subtropical wet forest site in the Luquillo Mountains of Puerto Rico. Nectarivorous and frugivorous bird species were greatly reduced in numbers immediately after the hurricane. The single granivore species studied decreased in numbers more slowly Insectivores and omnivores increased after the hurricane. All species except the granivore returned to their prehurricane abundance levels prior to the following breeding season, suggesting that population changes were a result of movement in search of food rather than mortality. Mist net captures and observations indicated that birds occupied a reduced vertical foraging range after the hurricane, and stomach contents from birds captured 6-10 months after the hurricane showed that different foods were being consumed. Fewer and different kinds of arthropods were found in stomachs after the hurricane. These findings, coupled with the frequent occurrence of hurricanes in the Caribbean, suggest that there is pressure on bird populations in this region to maintain plasticity in habitat and dietary requirements.

Litter Dynamics Along Stream, Riparian and Upslope Areas Following Hurricane Hugo, Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico

Litter Dynamics Along Stream, Riparian and Upslope Areas Following Hurricane Hugo, Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico
K. A. Vogt, D. J. Vogt, P. Boon, A. Covich, F. N. Scatena, H. Asbjornsen, J. L. O'Harra, J. Perez, T. g. Siccama, J. Bloomfield and J. F. Ranciato
Biotropica
Vol. 28, No. 4, Part A. Special Issue: Long Term Responses of Caribbean Ecosystems to Disturbances (Dec., 1996), pp. 458-470

Abstract: 
Litterfall (fine and coarse) due to Hurricane Hugo and subsequent fine annual litterfall inputs (1, 2 and 5 yr after Hugo) were determined for two sites (El Verde and Bisley) in the Luquillo Experimental Forest in Puerto Rico. Litter transfers into streams, riparian and upslope areas were determined within each catchment. The recovery rate of aboveground fine litterfall (leaf, fine wood <1 cm diameter, and other miscellaneous inputs) to predisturbance levels were determined 1, 2, and 5 yr after Hurricane Hugo. The amount of total litter transfers and their individual components into the riparian and upslope areas due to Hurricane Hugo varied significantly by catchments within the Luquillo Experimental Forest. At El Verde, 26-39 percent, 31-35 percent, 14-35 percent and 7-12 percent of the total litter transfers were contributed by leaf litter, fine wood, coarse wood and fine roots, respectively. At Bisley, 28-31 percent, 26-29 percent, 33-35 percent and 8-10 percent of the litter transfers were contributed by the same categories. Differential decay rates contributed to the relative importance of fine and coarse litter inputs. The recovery of fine aboveground litterfall to pre-hurricane levels after 5 yr varied by topographic location (streams had the slowest recovery, upslope areas the highest) and catchment (El Verde: 55-77%; Bisley: 39-82% of pre-hurricane values).

The Effects of Natural and Human Disturbances on Soil Nitrogen Dynamics and Trace Gas Fluxes in a Puerto Rican Wet Forest

The Effects of Natural and Human Disturbances on Soil Nitrogen Dynamics and Trace Gas Fluxes in a Puerto Rican Wet Forest
P. A. Steudler, J. M. Melillo, R. D. Bowden, M. S. Castro and A. E. Lugo
Biotropica
Vol. 23, No. 4, Part A. Special Issue: Ecosystem, Plant, and Animal Responses to Hurricanes in the Caribbean (Dec., 1991), pp. 356-363

Abstract: 
We examined the effects of two disturbances (Hurricane Hugo and forest clearcutting) on soil nitrogen dynamics and on the exchanges of N20, CO,, and CH, between soils and the atmosphere of a subtropical wet forest in Puerto Rico. The disturbances resulted in prolonged increases in ammonium pools and short-term increases in rates of net N-mineralization and net nitrification. Nitrous oxide emissions increased following both disturbances. The most dramatic increase was observed 4 mo after clearcutting; N 2 0 emissions (109.49 pg N/m2-hr) from the cut plot were about two orders of magnitude higher than emissions from the reference plot (1.71 pg N/m2-hr). Carbon dioxide emissions from both disturbed plots (mean 102.47 mg C/m2-hr) were about 30 percent lower than the reference (mean 15 1.28 mg C/m2-hr). Soils at all sites were generally sinks for CH,. Methane uptake, however, was suppressed by both disturbances. This suppression may be related to disturbance-induced changes in the nitrogen cycle, as we have previously observed in temperate zone forests.
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