Plant communities of montane secondary vegetation in the Cordillera de Talamanca, Costa Rica
Kappelle, Maarten; van Velzen, Henk P.; Wijtzes, Welmoed H.
A phytosociological analysis of the secondary vegetation found in the montane vegetation belt of the Costa Rican Cordillera de Talamanca was carried out. Relevés were made in randomly-stratified clustered sample plots distributed over homogeneous patches of secondary vegetation. A TWINSPAN classification, refined by Braun-Blanquet procedures, revealed twelve secondary plant communities (six grasslands, two shrublands and four forests), which were grouped into a lower montane (ca. 2300 m alt.) and an upper montane (ca. 2800 m alt.) set of six communities each. These communities have been described by characterizing their structure, composition, ecology (environmental aspects) and distribution. Finally some differences and similarities between the communities, as well as their position along a possible successional gradient, have been discussed.