Tree mortality and collecting botanical vouchers in tropical forests

O. L. Phillips, P. Nuñez V, M. E. Timaná

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

13 Citas (Scopus)


There is growing concern about the potential impact of researchers on tropical forest ecology, but few data. The aim of this paper is to examine the effects of collecting botanical specimens from tropical forest trees on their subsequent survivorship, using mortality data from plots in Amazonian Peru that were established in 1989 and reinventoried in 1994. In total, 2017 trees were originally tagged and collections were made from 948 trees. Making voucher collections always involved using unsterilized telescopic plant collecting poles to cut representative small brancyhes, and sometimes also involved using iron-spiked tree-climbing gear to gain access to the canopy. Annual mortality in the four plots averaged 1.99 percent. Among the whole population of dicotyledenous trees, there was no detectable difference between the mortality rate of collected trees (1.96%) and noncollected tress (2.29%). We conclude that in spite of the physical damage caused to collected trees, collecting voucher specimens from tropical moist forest trees may not affect their survivorship, at least in the short-term. Further studies are needed to fully evaluate the potential impacts of research activities on permanent forest plots in the tropics.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)298-305
Número de páginas8
EstadoPublicada - 1998
Publicado de forma externa


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