Wood Decomposition of Cyrilla racemiflora (Cyrillaceae) in Puerto Rican Dry and Wet Forests: A 13-year Case Study.
We studied the decomposition of Cyrilla racemiflora logs over a 13-yr period in tropical dry and wet forests in Puerto Rico. The mean mass loss, ratio of soft to hard wood, nutrient concentrations, and the diversity of wood-inhabiting organisms were greater in logs decomposing in the dry forest than in the wet forest. Termites were also more abundant in the logs collected from the tropical dry forest than the tropical wet forest. High moisture content and a low animal diversity on the logs in the wet forest seem to retard wood decay in this habitat. Wood decay rates in the tropical dry forest can be related to the high diversity of species and functional groups of wood-inhabiting organisms.