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Secondary succession in tropical dry forests

drivers and mechanisms of forest regeneration

Derroire, Géraldine (2016). Secondary succession in tropical dry forests. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Alnarp : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2016:66
ISBN 978-91-576-8634-3
eISBN 978-91-576-8635-0
[Doctoral thesis]

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Secondary succession is a complex process involving numerous factors acting across scales. Understanding secondary succession in tropical dry forests is important for the conservation and restoration of this highly threatened biome. My research aims to improve knowledge of the trajectories and drivers of secondary succession in this biome, and the underlying mechanisms. I used a combination of literature synthesis, observational and experimental approaches to study plant-plant interactions and community changes during succession.

Through review of published studies, I showed that established trees have a mainly positive effect on the seed dispersal, survival and germination of the subsequent generation of woody plants. However, the balance between positive and negative effects is more complex at the seedling establishment stage and can be influenced by the precipitation regime. Meta-analyses of chronosequence studies showed an increase in tree and shrub species richness with succession and a slow convergence of successional forest species composition with that of old-growth forests. Using survey of young woody plants establishing under isolated trees in pastures, I showed that the attributes of the trees influence the functional composition of the regeneration assemblages but are only weakly related to their taxonomic composition. The position of isolated trees in the landscape is also influential, but this is complex and site-specific. Through extensive sampling of leaf functional traits of sapling communities in secondary forests of different successional age, I found that community functional composition shifts from conservative towards acquisitive strategies of resource economics, through both species turnover and intraspecific variation of trait values. Five of the measured traits also showed directional changes with tree ontogeny. Lastly, an experimental test of seed fate showed that leaf litter reduced seed removal in successional forests. Seed germination rate was higher in successional forests compared with open sites and generally benefited from the presence of litter. Overall, this research suggests a higher predictability of successional trajectories when studied through functional rather than taxonomic composition. It also shows heterogeneity in successional trajectories among tropical dry forests that require further study.

Authors/Creators:Derroire, Géraldine
Title:Secondary succession in tropical dry forests
Subtitle:drivers and mechanisms of forest regeneration
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :May 2016
Depositing date:22 May 2016
Number of Pages:113
IDerroire, G., Tigabu, M., Odén P.C., Healey, J.H. (2016). The effects of established trees on woody regeneration during secondary succession in tropical dry forests. Biotropica, 48(3), pp. 290-300.
IIDerroire, G., Balvanera, P., Castellanos-Castro, C., Decocq, G., Kennard, D.K., Lebrija-Trejos, E., Leiva, J.A. , Odén, P.C., Powers, J.S., Rico-Gray, V., Tigabu, M., Healey J.R. (2016). Resilience of tropical dry forests – a meta-analysis of changes in species diversity and composition during secondary succession. Oikos, doi: 10.1111/oik.03229.
IIIDerroire, G., Coe, R., Healey, J.H. (2016). Isolated trees as nuclei of regeneration in tropical pastures: testing the importance of niche-based and landscape factors. Journal of Vegetation Science, doi:10.1111/jvs.12404.
IVDerroire, G., Powers, J.S., Hulshof, C.M., Cárdenas Valera, L.E, Healey, J.H. Functional strategies change through species turnover and intraspecific variation in tropical dry forest succession (manuscript under review).
Place of Publication:Alnarp
Publisher:Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-8634-3
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-8635-0
Additional Information:Doctoral Thesis Bangor, United Kingdom & Alnarp, Sweden - 2016
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:K Forestry > K01 Forestry - General aspects
P Natural resources > P01 Nature conservation and land resources
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Environmental Sciences (social aspects to be 507)
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
Agrovoc terms:tropical forests, biodiversity, regeneration, ecological succession, botanical composition, plant establishment, site factors, land use, tropical america, arid zones, costa rica
Keywords:biodiversity, community assembly, Costa Rica, environmental gradients, facilitation, plant functional traits, regeneration niche
Permanent URL:
ID Code:13400
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
External funders:European Commission
Deposited By: Geraldine Derroire
Deposited On:23 May 2016 07:13
Metadata Last Modified:10 Sep 2020 13:41

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