|Session I: Upland Plants
||Abstract #: 97102
SHORT TERM RESPONSE OF TWO CYPRESS COMMUNITIES ( TAXODIUM DISTICHUM VAR. IMBRICARIUM (NUTTALL) CROOM) IN EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK TO THE EFFECTS OF HURRICANE ANDREW
Whelan, K.R.T., Oberbauer, S.F., and Koptur, S.
Department of Biological Sciences
Florida International University, College of Arts and Sciences, University Park
Hurricane Andrew passed over Southern Florida on August 24, 1992, with sustained winds of 230 kph causing massive damage to the natural areas. We investigated the damage sustained as well as the short term recovery response of Taxodium distichum
(Nuttall) Croom within two cypress communities in Everglades National Park to the effects of Hurricane Andrew. In the cypress dome communities damage as well as recovery were size dependent. Basal area increment was significantly different depending on recovery response and site. Mortality was size dependent. Mortality findings were greater than previously reported with 3.1% mortality in the initial survey and 7.4% mortality after a three year period. Within the dwarf cypress forest communities findings were similar except basal area increment was not dependent on recovery response. Mortality was not size dependent. For both communities it was found that the damage sustained interacted with recovery response. The ability to predict mortality using diameter at breast height using logistic regression produced a significant model. However, the practical application of the model has some short comings. This work found that the forest structure of cypress domes and dwarf cypress forest communities differs in response to hurricane damage.