Pasture Recolonization by a Tropical Oak and the Regeneration Ecology of Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests

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Abstract

Fragmentation and habitat destruction of tropical forests is nowhere more apparent than in the seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs) of Central America (Janzen 1988b; chap. 1). In Central America, old-growth tropical dry forest had been reduced to less than 20 percent of its original extent by the mid 1980s (Trejo and Dirzo 2000), largely as a result of disproportionately high human population density and intensive agricultural activity within this habitat zone (Murphy and Lugo 1986a). Although rates of deforestation in Central America peaked in the twentieth century, palynology data indicate that humans have been using fre to manipulate forest cover in Central American SDTF for thousands of years (Janzen 1988b; Piperno 2006).