Hurricane Hugo

Fine Litterfall and Related Nutrient Inputs Resulting From Hurricane Hugo in Subtropical Wet and Lower Montane Rain Forests of Puerto Rico

Fine Litterfall and Related Nutrient Inputs Resulting From Hurricane Hugo in Subtropical Wet and Lower Montane Rain Forests of Puerto Rico
D. Jean Lodge, F. N. Scatena, C. E. Asbury and M. J. Sanchez
Biotropica
Vol. 23, No. 4, Part A. Special Issue: Ecosystem, Plant, and Animal Responses to Hurricanes in the Caribbean (Dec., 1991), pp. 336-342

Abstract: 
On 18 September 1989 Hurricane Hugo defoliated large forested areas of northeastern Puerto Rico. In two severely damaged subtropical wet forest sites, a mean of 1006-1083 g/m$^2$, or 419-451 times the mean daily input of fine litter (leaves, small wood, and miscellaneous debris) was deposited on the forest floor. An additional 928 g/m$^2$ of litter was suspended above the ground. A lower montane rain forest site received 682 times the mean daily fine litterfall. The concentrations of N and P in the hurricane leaf litter ranged from 1.1 to 1.5 and 1.7 to 3.3 times the concentrations of N and P in normal leaffall, respectively. In subtropical wet forest, fine litterfall from the hurricane contained 1.3 and 1.5-2.4 times the mean annual litterfall inputs of N and P, respectively. These sudden high nutrient inputs apparently altered nutrient cycling.

Physical Aspects of Hurricane Hugo in Puerto Rico

Scatena, F. N., and Larsen, M. C., 1991, Physical aspects of Hurricane Hugo in Puerto Rico: Biotropica, v. 23, no. 4A, p. 317-323.

Abstract: 
On 18 September 1989, the western portion of Hurricane Hugo crossed eastern Puerto Rico and the Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF). Storm-facing slopes on the northeastern part of the island that were within 15 km of the eye and received greater than 200 mm of rain were most affected by the storm. In the LEF and nearby area, recurrence intervals associated with Hurricane Hugo were 50 yr for wind velocity, 10 to 31 yr for stream discharge, and 5 yr for rainfall intensity. To compare the magnitudes of the six hurricanes to pass over Puerto Rico since 1899, 3 indices were developed using the standardized values of the product of: the maximum sustained wind speed at San Juan squared and storm duration; the square of the product of the maximum sustained wind velocity at San Juan and the ratio of the distance between the hurricane eye and San Juan to the distance between the eye and percentage of average annual rainfall delivered by the storm. Based on these indices, Hurricane Hugo was of moderate intensity. However, because of the path of Hurricane Hugo, only one of these six storms (the 1932 storm) caused more damage to the LEF than Hurricane Hugo. Hurricanes of Hugo's magnitude are estimated to pass over the LEF once every 50-60 years on average.

Fine Litterfall and Related Nutrient Inputs Resulting From Hurricane Hugo in Subtropical Wet and Lower Montane Rain Forests of Puerto Rico

Fine Litterfall and Related Nutrient Inputs Resulting From Hurricane Hugo in Subtropical Wet and Lower Montane Rain Forests of Puerto Rico
D. Jean Lodge, F. N. Scatena, C. E. Asbury and M. J. Sanchez
Biotropica
Vol. 23, No. 4, Part A. Special Issue: Ecosystem, Plant, and Animal Responses to Hurricanes in the Caribbean (Dec., 1991), pp. 336-342

Abstract: 
On 18 September 1989 Hurricane Hugo defoliated large forested areas of northeastern Puerto Rico. In two severely damaged subtropical wet forest sites, a mean of 1006-1083 g/m$^2$, or 419-451 times the mean daily input of fine litter (leaves, small wood, and miscellaneous debris) was deposited on the forest floor. An additional 928 g/m$^2$ of litter was suspended above the ground. A lower montane rain forest site received 682 times the mean daily fine litterfall. The concentrations of N and P in the hurricane leaf litter ranged from 1.1 to 1.5 and 1.7 to 3.3 times the concentrations of N and P in normal leaffall, respectively. In subtropical wet forest, fine litterfall from the hurricane contained 1.3 and 1.5-2.4 times the mean annual litterfall inputs of N and P, respectively. These sudden high nutrient inputs apparently altered nutrient cycling.

Changes in the herbaceous and vine communities at the Bisley Experimental Watersheds, Puerto Rico, following Hurricane Hugo

Chinea, Jesus D. 1999. Changes in the herbaceous and vine communities at the Bisley Experimental Watersheds, Puerto Rico, following Hurricane Hugo.. Can. J. For. Res. 29: 1433-1437 .

Abstract: 
While herbaceous species and vines constitute a minor portion of the biomass in tropical closed forest ecosystems, they account for a substantial portion of the diversity of these ecosystems and become more conspicuous after natural disturbances. This study describes the changes in abundance and diversity of the herbs and vines during 5 years following Hurricane Hugo at the Bisley Experimental Watersheds, Puerto Rico. The cover of herbs, ferns, and vine species was sampled within a 5-m2 area in 25 randomly chosen circular permanent plots within the 13 ha of these watersheds. Sampling was done 12, 18, 36, 48, and 60 months after the hurricane. One year after the hurricane the overall mean herbaceous cover in the watersheds was 55%. Four years later, the cover and species richness of herbs and vines, but not ferns, had been significantly reduced. The only change in species diversity (H¢ ) was a significant increase in ferns. These changes are explained in terms of the extent and spatial variability of the hurricane damage, as well as changes in the tree component of this ecosystem.

Hurricane Hugo: damage to a tropical rain forest in Puerto Rico

Hurricane Hugo: Damage to a Tropical Rain Forest in Puerto Rico
Khadga Basnet, Gene E. Likens, F. N. Scatena and Ariel E. Lugo
Journal of Tropical Ecology
Vol. 8, No. 1 (Feb., 1992), pp. 47-55

Abstract: 
Hurricane Hugo of September 1989 caused severe damage to the rain forest in the north-rust corner of Puerto Rico. We assessed the severity of damage distributed in space, species, and size-classes of trees in the Bisley Watersheds of the Luquillo Experimental Forest. We analyzed pie- and post-hurricane data for vegetation from transects established in 1987 and 1988. The severity of damage was significantly greater in valleys than on ridges and slopes. All the species except Dacryodes excelsa, Sloanea berteriana, and Guarea guidonia showed 100% severe damage. Large trees (> 70 cm DBH) were highly susceptible to hurricane damage, but there was no clear pattern in the small size-classes. D. excelsa (tabonuco) was the most resistant to damage by the hurricane. Tabonuco which has extensive root-grafts and root anchorage to bedrock and subsurficial rocks, apparently can survive frequent hurricanes and continue as a dominant species in this montane tropical rain forest. The high frequency of hurricanes, which can override other ecological and topographic factors, may largely determine the overall spatial pattern of species in this rain forest.
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