Next Article in Journal
Analysis of Selected Physical Properties of Conifer Cones with Relevance to Energy Production Efficiency
Next Article in Special Issue
Responses of Soil Labile Organic Carbon to a Simulated Hurricane Disturbance in a Tropical Wet Forest
Previous Article in Journal
The Effects of Forest Bathing on Stress Recovery: Evidence from Middle-Aged Females of Taiwan
Previous Article in Special Issue
Litterfall Production Prior to and during Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Four Puerto Rican Forests
Article Menu
Issue 7 (July) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Forests 2018, 9(7), 404;

The Frequency of Cyclonic Wind Storms Shapes Tropical Forest Dynamism and Functional Trait Dispersion

Department of Biological Sciences, International Center for Tropical Botany, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33175, USA
Department of Environmental Science, University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras, San Juan, PR 00936, USA
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0QB, UK
Department of Ecology, Evolution & Environmental Biology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA
Department of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL 60605, USA
Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL 60532, USA
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, National Dong Hwa University, Hualien 97401, Taiwan
Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, Taipei 10066, Taiwan
Institute of Biology, College of Sciences, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City 1101, Philippines
Center for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun 666303, Yunnan, China
Institute of Arts and Sciences, Far Eastern University, Manila 1008, Philippines
Center for Tropical Forest Science—Forest Global Earth Observatory, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Washington, DC 20560, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 May 2018 / Revised: 28 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Responses to Large-Scale Wind Disturbance)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1607 KB, uploaded 5 July 2018]   |  


As cyclonic wind storms (hurricanes and typhoons) increase in frequency and intensity with climate change, it is important to understand their effects on the populations and communities of tropical trees they impact. Using tree demographic data from four large, tropical forest dynamics plots that differ in cyclonic storm frequency, we compare tree population and community dynamics. Additionally, we assess the effect of cyclonic storms on three functional traits, specific leaf area, wood density, and tree height of the dynamic tree assemblages. Mortality, growth and recruitment rates and the intrinsic rates of population growth of species differed across the plots, and were most dynamic, especially for stems 1–2 cm in diameter, at the plot which had an intermediate level of cyclonic storm frequency. Functional assemblages of species had the greatest degree of temporal variation in relation to disturbance, as measured by the change in functional divergence for the two plots with more intermediate cyclonic storm recurrence. Therefore, cyclonic storms affecting these plots generally have a greater effect on forest composition and dynamism than comparable cyclonic storms do on the plot which experiences cyclonic storms more frequently. Thus, we provide some evidence that community-wide demographic resistance to cyclonic storms is generally lower at an intermediate frequency of storms. While cyclonic storm strength and timing are important determinants of the within forest variation in tree dynamics and functional trait assemblages, we also show that cyclonic storm timing and frequency shapes tropical forest dynamics and functional composition across forests. We conclude that, over a given time interval, sites with intermediate levels of damaging cyclonic wind disturbance express a greater potential for life-history variation in the forest community, when compared to sites with less or more frequent disturbance. View Full-Text
Keywords: cyclonic wind disturbance; hurricanes; typhoons; forest resistance; forest demography; tree mortality; tree growth; functional traits; Luquillo; Fushan; Palanan; Barro Colorado Island cyclonic wind disturbance; hurricanes; typhoons; forest resistance; forest demography; tree mortality; tree growth; functional traits; Luquillo; Fushan; Palanan; Barro Colorado Island

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Hogan, J.A.; Zimmerman, J.K.; Thompson, J.; Uriarte, M.; Swenson, N.G.; Condit, R.; Hubbell, S.; Johnson, D.J.; Sun, I.F.; Chang-Yang, C.-H.; Su, S.-H.; Ong, P.; Rodriguez, L.; Monoy, C.C.; Yap, S.; Davies, S.J. The Frequency of Cyclonic Wind Storms Shapes Tropical Forest Dynamism and Functional Trait Dispersion. Forests 2018, 9, 404.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Forests EISSN 1999-4907 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top