Immediate Ecological Effects
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The ecological systems appeared to have collapsed after hurricane María because the defoliation of vegetation was so extensive as to give the appearance that the vegetation was killed. In reality, the rapid re-greening of vegetation quickly reversed these visible effects. Forests continued to yield clean water from watersheds and began a process of change that would restore their structure and functioning, even if species composition might change as they matured. Extreme events such as María have positive long-term effects on Caribbean forests and contribute to adaptability of organisms to a changing world environment.