Seed dispersal, predation, desiccation and seedling survival are strong bottlenecks that impede tropical forest recovery on abandoned agricultural lands (reviewed in Holl 2002). The ability to resprout after disturbances overcomes these barriers, as those individuals bypass the seed stage and have more vigorous shoots than seedlings (Bond & Midgley 2001, Kammesheidt 1999, Kennard et al. 2002). Resprouting is a particularly important recovery mechanism in tropical dry forests (reviewed in Vieira & Scariot 2006). There are a number of reasons why resprouting may be more important in dry forests than in rain forests, including slower decay rates of trunk bases (Ewel 1980), or adaptation of plants to drought (Bond & Midgley 2001, Sampaio et al. 1993).