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Open AccessArticle

Broadening Our Understanding of Hurricanes and Forests on the Caribbean Island of Puerto Rico: Where and What Should We Study Now?

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Department of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Center for Coastal Studies, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, PR 00681, USA
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USDA Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry and Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, PR 00926, USA
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Department of Biology and Interdisciplinary Center for Coastal Studies, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, PR 00681, USA
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Department of Agro-Environmental Sciences and Interdisciplinary Center for Coastal Studies, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, PR 00681, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(9), 710; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090710
Received: 11 July 2019 / Revised: 15 August 2019 / Accepted: 19 August 2019 / Published: 21 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Hurricanes shape ecosystems. A broad range of forested ecosystems is particularly affected by hurricanes, thus creating the need for studies addressing the effects of these disturbances. There is a long history of hurricane and forest research on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. In this study, we present results from a systematic literature review of peer-reviewed articles regarding ecological research conducted in Puerto Rico on the topic of hurricanes and forests published from 1900 through 2017. We present a summary of cyclonic activity on the island during the study period and the results from the systematic literature review within this cyclonic context. We discuss findings in terms of aspects of forests studied, geographical distribution of study areas, and time scales at which research was conducted. These findings allow us to determine what was studied about hurricanes and forests, identify gaps in the information, and suggest possible areas of research and production of new knowledge that recent and future storms can bring. We conclude with recommendations identifying research needs and propose additional approaches to complement existing information. Our goal is to generate future knowledge from hurricane and forest research with the broadest applications possible. View Full-Text
Keywords: hurricanes; forests; Puerto Rico; systematic literature review; ecological research hurricanes; forests; Puerto Rico; systematic literature review; ecological research
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MDPI and ACS Style

López-Marrero, T.; Heartsill-Scalley, T.; Rivera-López, C.F.; Escalera-García, I.A.; Echevarría-Ramos, M. Broadening Our Understanding of Hurricanes and Forests on the Caribbean Island of Puerto Rico: Where and What Should We Study Now? Forests 2019, 10, 710.

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