After Felix, ‘pioneer’ species fill forest void


It has been nearly four years since Hurricane Felix cut a swath of destruction across Nicaragua’s northern Caribbean coast, killing 300 people and leveling or partially damaging some 574,000 hectares (1.4 million acres) of forest with its ferocious category-5 winds. For residents, of course, the impacts are still acutely felt. The same can be said of the region’s woodlands. Experts warn steps must be taken now to replant precious hardwoods in hurricane-damaged areas before rapidly growing “pioneer” species completely take over and change the makeup of the forest. “The forest is already recovering on its own, but without the species that we want to conserve and without the hardwoods that have economic value,” says Holmes Aguilar, coordinator of forestry management for the Nicaraguan... [Log in to read more]

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