RESILIENCY AND RESPONSE TO HURRICANE DISTURBANCE IN A TROPICAL SHRUB,ARDISIA-ESCALLONIOIDES (MYRSINACEAE), IN SOUTH FLORIDA

Authors
Citation
Jb. Pascarella, RESILIENCY AND RESPONSE TO HURRICANE DISTURBANCE IN A TROPICAL SHRUB,ARDISIA-ESCALLONIOIDES (MYRSINACEAE), IN SOUTH FLORIDA, American journal of botany, 85(9), 1998, pp. 1207-1215
Citations number
56
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Plant Sciences
Journal title
ISSN journal
0002-9122
Volume
85
Issue
9
Year of publication
1998
Pages
1207 - 1215
Database
ISI
SICI code
0002-9122(1998)85:9<1207:RARTHD>2.0.ZU;2-1
Abstract
The resiliency to hurricane disturbance and the response to posthurric ane environmental conditions were examined in the tropical shrub Ardis ia escallonioides (Myrsinaceae). Hurricane Andrew struck three of four study sites in subtropical hardwood forests in south Florida on 24 Au gust 1992. Posthurricane understory light levels in the disturbed site s ranged from 21 to 53% of full light in 1993 and remained high in 199 4; in contrast, light levels averaged only 9% in the undisturbed fores t. Significant differences in mortality, damage, and defoliation were observed among the three hurricane-damaged populations. Mortality was low, but adults suffered high levels of damage and defoliation. Follow ing the hurricane, populations in the most severely disturbed forests had more growth than populations in lightly damaged or undamaged fores ts. Seed germination and seedling growth were not associated with ligh t availability. No long-term seed dormancy was observed. The observed response to posthurricane environmental conditions is consistent with understory species that show release following canopy opening, but are able to persist under periods of canopy closure. The local dominance of this species in many coastal forests in south Florida may be due to the high frequency of hurricane disturbance.