You are here: Home / Research Topics / Research Highlights / Individual Highlight

Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

A Systemic Review of More Than 100 years of Published Research on Hurricanes and Forests in Puerto Rico Presents What Sites and Types of Studies Have Contributed the Most to Our Current Knowledge.

Photo of Location of study sites with number of articles published from 1900 to 2017 in relation to climatic zones in Puerto Rico.
Location of study sites with number of articles published from 1900 to 2017 in relation to climatic zones in Puerto Rico. Snapshot : The vast majority of knowledge about hurricanes and forests comes from very wet and humid areas, while dry coastal locations have been less studied.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Heartsill Scalley, Tamara 
Research Location : Puerto Rico??
Research Station : International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF)
Year : 2019
Highlight ID : 1543

Summary

A broad range of forested ecosystems are affected by hurricanes, thus creating the need for studies that evaluate those effects. There is a long history of hurricane and forest research on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, with a significant contribution from the Luquillo Experimental Forest. USDA Forest Service scientists conducted a systematic literature review of peer-reviewed ecological research in Puerto Rico on the topic of hurricanes and forests published from 1900 through 2017 that revealed what sites and types of studies have contributed most to the current knowledge base. The scientists also looked at the geographical distribution of study areas, focus organisms and processes, and time scales at which research was conducted. Their findings allowed them to determine what was studied about hurricanes and forests, identify gaps in the information, and suggest possible areas of research and to complement existing knowledge. The review revealed that the vast majority of knowledge about hurricanes and forests comes from very wet and humid areas in montane locations. They concluded studies that examine the effects of hurricanes on forests that share edges with urban areas, wildland area interfaces, and forests embedded in urbanized landscapes are needed. Research conceived to integrate interactions between various forest types, through ecosystem processes such as hurricane-induced sediment discharges, connecting montane and coastal areas, are currently limited. In addition, relatively few studies address coastal forests, such as mangrove wetlands, and hurricanes. 

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • University of Puerto Rico