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Coppice shoot dynamics in a tropical dry forest after human disturbance

  • Mathieu Lévesque (a1), Kurt P. McLaren (a2) and Morag A. McDonald (a1)

Abstract:

Coppicing is an important regeneration mechanism in tropical dry forest after disturbance, but little is known about the long-term dynamics and the rate of recovery of the coppice shoots following clearance. This study reports on the growth and dynamics of coppice shoots following experimental cutting in a tropical dry forest in Jamaica. The fate of coppice shoots was tracked on a total of 481 stumps, representing 51 species over 10 y. The number of coppice shoots and the height and dbh of the leading shoots were measured on the tree stumps 14 mo and 10 y after cutting. Coppicing was vigorous for most tree species, but the average number of shoots per stump decreased significantly over the 9 y period, from 25 to 8 shoots per stump. The average height and diameter of the leading shoots after 10 y were 4.5 m and 3.8 cm, respectively, and the average percentage diameter recovered by the shoots varied between 36% and 95% among the species. Coppicing facilitates the long-term persistence of this dry forest, and the rapid growth of coppice shoots contributed to the resilience of most species after cutting.

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Corresponding author

1Corresponding author. Email: kurt.mclaren@uwimona.edu.

References

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Coppice shoot dynamics in a tropical dry forest after human disturbance

  • Mathieu Lévesque (a1), Kurt P. McLaren (a2) and Morag A. McDonald (a1)

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