|Title||A comparative study of soil disturbance from uprooted trees, and mound and pit decay in Puerto Rico and Colorado|
|Year of Publication||2003|
|Academic Department||Institute for the Study of Planet Earth|
|University||University of Arizona|
|Keywords||colorado, Mound and pit, Puerto Rico, Soil disturbance, Uprooted|
The toppling of trees forms mounds of disturbed sediment and pits from which the mound removes sediment, rocks, and organic matter. Sites of uprooted trees in Puerto Rico and Colorado were examined (1) to compare areas and volumes of mounds and pits relative to tree size, (2) to compare areas and volumes of mounds and pits formed during catastrophic events at the landscape scale, and (3) to consider decay of mounds and pits after formation. For a given basal area, the analyses found no difference among sites in area and volume of freshly formed individual mounds and pits. For landscape-level catastrophic uprooting, the percent of toppled trees in a plot can explain 85% and 87% of the areas and volumes, respectively, of the quantity of soil uplifted. Exponential decay coefficients developed by monitoring mound/pit complexes indicate that mounds and pits at the humid tropical site in Puerto Rico decay in about 74% and 57% of the time, respectively, of mounds and pits at a temperate Colorado site. Decay coefficients developed for the Colorado site indicate that mounds and pits are reduced to 10% of their original volume within 30 and 78 years, respectively. Coefficients for Puerto Rico suggest that a similar reduction in volume requires 17 years, whereas pits generally fill within a decade.