The Pterocarpus in Puerto Rico: Importance for the Environment

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This is a video recording of a 2015 conference presentation by Dr. Ariel Lugo, an expert on the Pterocarpus forests about the importance of the Pterocarpus forests and the wetlands.  Friends of the Forest, a large group of Palmas residents and tourists other guests at Palmas del Mar were in attendance.  An interesting and enlightening conference, guests learned about how widespread wetlands used to be in Puerto Rico until massive deforestation took place, the role and importance of wetlands, and the importance of forests in general and swamp forests like the Pterocarpus in particular.

Dr. Lugo earned a Ph.D. in Ecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a M.A. from the University of Puerto Rico.  At the time of the conference, he was the Director of the International Institute of Tropical Forestry of the USDA Forest Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Dr. Lugo has worked on a wide range of tropical and sub-tropical ecosystems: hardwood forests, mangroves, floodplain wetlands, sand pine forests, prairie lakes and palm wetlands. His current research focuses on the role of tropical forests in global processes, and on comparisons between tropical tree plantations and natural forests.


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