Changes in forest structure and composition after fire in tropical montane cloud forests near the Andean treeline

Imma Oliveras, Yadvinder Malhi, Norma Salinas, Vicky Huaman, Erickson Urquiaga-Flores, Jose Kala-Mamani, Jose Antonio Quintano-Loaiza, Israel Cuba-Torres, Nohemi Lizarraga-Morales, Rosa Maria Román-Cuesta

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

31 Citas (Scopus)


Background: In tropical montane cloud forests (TMCFs) fires can be a frequent source of disturbance near the treeline. Aims: To identify how forest structure and tree species composition change in response to fire and to identify fire-tolerant species, and determine which traits or characteristics are associated with fire tolerance. Methods: Shifts in forest structure and diversity were assessed on 15 paired plots in burnt and unburnt (control) forests, along a fire chronosequence. Species were classified as fire-sensitive, fire survivors or fire thrivers, using a fire tolerance index. Regression and tree analyses were used to determine which traits contributed to the fire tolerance of species. Results: There were more small- and medium-sized trees in the burnt plots independent of time since the last fire. There were shifts in family importance value and in species diversity among the plots. Of the 73 species analysed there were 39 fire-sensitive species, 19 fire survivors and 14 fire thrivers. Sprouting ability and biomass showed a positive relationship with the fire tolerance of species. Conclusions: There were immediate as well as long-term (up to 15 years) effects of fire on forest structure and species composition, suggesting that TMCFs take more than 15 years to regenerate from a fire. Long-term studies are needed to fully understand regeneration patterns of TMCFs after fires.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)329-340
Número de páginas12
PublicaciónPlant Ecology and Diversity
EstadoPublicada - 2014
Publicado de forma externa


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