National Science Foundation University of Connecticut PBDFF Louisianna State Universtiy CIECO Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigacion y EzsenanzaWageningen Organization for Tropical Studies
Successional Pathways...
By understanding how stand-level dynamics conform to or deviate from overall chronosequence patterns within each of these regions, we will identify key ecological factors, processes, and mechanisms that influence successional pathways. The long-term data gathered will provide essential information to guide forest restoration, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity conservation in the Neotropics. Ultimately, our results will enable development of more predictive and more widely applied models of successional vegetation dynamics in today’s complex tropical landscapes. Based on intensive, continuing observations in study plots in three tropical regions, we are rigorously testing whether temporal changes parallel chronosequences in secondary succession. We are addressing the following questions:



Response Variables...
Within each region, how do different response variables (tree density, tree size distributions, basal area, biomass, species richness, species composition, functional groups, and life form composition) vary within sites through time and across sites of different age?



Environmental Changes...
What environmental changes can be identified as important contributors to successional variation in each region, and are such changes consistent across regions?



Initial Conditions...
What initial conditions can be identified as important contributors to successional variation in each region, and is such variation consistent across regions?



Stand Dynamics...
How do stand dynamics during early and intermediate phases of succession differ across the three geographic regions and how do initial stand dynamics affect subsequent successional pathways?
Model



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