Tree composition and structure in disturbed stands with varying dominance by Pinus spp. in the highlands of Chiapas, México

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We studied soil and forest floor conditions, regeneration patterns oftrees, and forest structure and floristic composition along a gradient ofdominance by Pinus spp. in disturbed stands in thehighlands of Chiapas, southern Mexico. Seedlings, saplings, and adults of treespecies were counted and measured in 2-3 circular plots (1000m2 each) in 36 forest stands (a total of 38 treespecies). Dominance of broadleaved trees other thanQuercusspp. was negatively correlated with basal area of Pinusspp. (P < 0.001). Soils of pine-dominated stands weremore compacted, less acidic, and less fertile (lower C.E.C., nitrogen, andorganic matter content). Numerous broadleaved trees may depend on anoak-dominated canopy to regenerate, and changes associated to pinelandsexpansion may compromise their long-term persistence. However, seedlings andsaplings of Quercus spp. were abundant in stands with bothan oak- or pine-dominated canopy. The results suggest that a plan forsustainable forest utilization in the study region, and in other similarpopulated tropical highlands, could take advantage of the abundant oakregeneration and coexistence with pines in the canopy.

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Galindo-Jaimes, L., González-Espinosa, M., Quintana-Ascencio, P. et al. Tree composition and structure in disturbed stands with varying dominance by Pinus spp. in the highlands of Chiapas, México. Plant Ecology 162, 259–272 (2002).

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  • Disturbance
  • Forest soils
  • Hardwoods
  • Litter
  • Quercus
  • Species richness