Effect of Topography on the Pattern of Trees in Tabonuco (Dacryodes excelsa) Dominated Rain Forest of Puerto Rico

Effect of Topography on the Pattern of Trees in Tabonuco (Dacryodes excelsa) Dominated Rain Forest of Puerto Rico
Khadga Basnet
Biotropica
Vol. 24, No. 1 (Mar., 1992), pp. 31-42

Abstract: 
The structure, composition, and spatial patterns of tree species in two adjacent watersheds of the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico were investigated. Both watersheds had the same vegetational characteristics. Dacryodes excelsa! Sloanea berteriana, and Guarea guidonia were the most important trees in the overstory. A profile diagram, chisquare criterion, and multivariate techniques showed the same result: trees were related significantly to topographic variables. Large trees, especially the dominant species, tabonuco, were associated significantly with ridges and slopes. Size-class distributions of individual species varied as a function of broad ecological factors such as topography and disturbance regime. Past anthropogenic disturbance was still apparent in the pattern of distribution of large trees along the elevational gradients of the watersheds. Dacryodes excelsa is the dominant species, even though Sloanea berteriana has higher representation in smaller size-classes.