Resource Details

Forest Regeneration in a Chronosequence of Tropical Abandoned Pastures: Implications for Restoration Ecology

Literature: Journal Articles Available at NO COST

Aide, T.M., Zimmerman, J.K., Pascarella, J.B., Rivera, L., & Marcano-Vega, H. 2000, "Forest Regeneration in a Chronosequence of Tropical Abandoned Pastures: Implications for Restoration Ecology", Restoration Ecology, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 328-338.


  • Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, P.O. Box 23360, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00931–3360, U.S.A.
  • Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936, U.S.A.
  • Department of Biology, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA 31698, U.S.A.
  • Department of Biological Science, University of Puerto Rico, P.O. Box 23323, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00931–3323, U.S.A.  


University of Puerto Rico

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Species Info

  • Miconia prasina
  • Tabebuia heterophylla
  • Spathodea campanulata
  • Psidium guajava
  • Casearia sylvestris
  • Casearia guianensis
  • Guarea guidonia
  • Andira inermis
  • Ocotea leucoxylon
  • Cordia boriquensis
  • Myrcia deflexa
  • Syzygium jambos
  • Guarea glabra
  • Dacryodes excels
  • Miconia tetandra
  • Drypetes glabra
  • Micropholis guyanensis
  • Sloanea berteriana
  • Prestoea montana
  • Alchornea latifolia
  • Schefflera morototoni
  • Casearia arborea
  • Homalium racemosum


  • This research examines the natural regeneration patterns on abandoned agricultural land in four different regions of Puerto Rico, with 64 samples on sites abandoned between 5-75 years and 7 samples on sites abandoned more than 80 years.
  • After approximately 40 years of natural regeneration, the forest structure had been recuperated to pre-agricultural levels.
  • Species richness after 35 to 40 years of regeneration was also not significantly different than that of older forest (>80 years); however, species composition did vary significantly between the two forest types.
  • The most successful colonizing species of recently abandoned pastures (<20 years) are discussed.
  • More than 200 species of shrubs and trees were recorded on the abandoned pastures, of which only 8 were common.
  • The authors suggest that enrichment planting with the most common colonizing species may accelerate regeneration.
  • To judge the recovery of species composition, four 57 year old and four 77 year old abandoned pastures were compared with four old forest sites (>80 years).
  • Three of the most important species in the old forest sites, Dacryodes excels, Prestoea montana, and Sloanea berteriana, were absent from the secondary forest.
  • Even in the 77 year old sites, only 5 out of 10 of the most common species in old forest sites were found on at least 50% of secondary forest sites.
  • The most common exotic species recorded were Spathodea campanulata, Psidium guajava, and Syzygium jambos.
  • S. campanulatadid not appear to play a major role in the composition of secondary forests (>40 years) due to low recruitment in the understory, while S. jambos was found in older secondary forests and seems to inhibit the regeneration of native tree species.

Geographical Region

  • Caribbean Islands
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