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Title: Impacts of wind disturbance on fragmented tropical forests: A review and synthesis
Authors: Laurance, William F.
Curran, Timothy J.
Keywords: Carbon Sequestration
Community Composition
Edge Effect
Environmental Disturbance
Forest Dynamics
Global Warming
Habitat Fragmentation
Invasive Species
Literature Review
Storm Damage
South America
Issue Date: 2008
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Austral Ecology
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 33, Número 4, Pags. 399-408
Abstract: Wind disturbance is an important ecological force in the tropics, especially in the cyclonic and hurricane zones from about 7-20° latitude. Damage from intense winds may be especially severe in fragmented forests because of their abrupt artificial margins and denuded surrounding landscapes. We review available information on the effects of windstorms on fragmented forests, synthesizing studies from Australasia, Amazonia and elsewhere in the tropics. Wind damage in fragmented landscapes can be influenced by a range of factors, such as forest-edge orientation, edge structure, the size of nearby clearings and local topography. We argue that wind disturbances are likely to interact with, and exacerbate, a range of deleterious environmental changes in fragmented forests. Among the most important of these are altered forest structure, shifts in plant species composition, exotic-plant invasions, reduced carbon storage and elevated vulnerability to fire. The damaging impacts of winds on fragmented forests could potentially increase in the future, particularly if global warming leads to increasingly severe or frequent windstorms.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2008.01895.x
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