The impact of hurricane beta on the forests of providencia island, colombia, southwest caribbean
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One of the consequences of global warming in the Caribbean is an increase in thefrequency and intensity of hurricanes. Little is known on the impact of this naturalphenomenon on forests, particularly for dry tropical forests. Understanding this impactin terms of structure and species richness is important for forest management. Slowmoving Hurricane Beta, a category 1, struck Old Providence island, Colombia, inOctober 29, 2005. Before Beta woody vegetation was characterized by 88 2 x 50 mplots (0.01 ha) established throughout the island following the protocol by Gentry(1982); 59 plots were studied fi ve years earlier and 29 plots four to fi ve monthsearlier. The impact of hurricane Beta was assessed within 11 plots located in the DryTropical Forests of Old Providence, six months after the hurricane. The These plotswere measured in species composition, diameter at breast height (DBH), and heightwere measured within these plots. There was a considerable reduction in the numberof individuals, stems, height, basal areas, and there was no signifi cant differencebetween DBH. Height damage was positively associated with increasing DHB class.Furthermore, based on the results of species richness, even after controlling for thedifferent number of individuals, through rarefaction, there was no major differencebefore and after Beta.
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