Geography Publications and Other Works

Source Publication (e.g., journal title)

In Kappelle, M. and Horn, S.P. (Eds.), Páramos de Costa Rica. Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica: Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad, INBio.

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Field studies following fires in the Buenavista (La Muerte Massif) and Chirripó páramos demonstrate that woody species show varying responses to fire. The bamboo Chusquea subtessellata and the ericaceous shrubs Vaccinium consanguineum and Pernettya prostrata typically resprout vigorously after fire, but rarely if ever recolonize burn sites by seeding. The shrub Hypericum irazuense, in contrast, generally suffers high mortality in páramo fires, but successfully reestablishes by seed following all but the largest fires. Preexisting vegetation, fire characteristics, and site differences both before and after burning likely affect rates of shrub and herb survival, colonization, and growth in páramo burn sites, but more comparative studies are necessary to document influences. Among woody species, Chusquea subtessellata shows the fastest postfire growth rates; clumps of bamboo that were 1-2 m high prior to burning will have regained their prefire heights within 10 years. Associated shrub species may require a decade or more to recover comparable postfire statures; some will have regained prefire height within a decade but most will not have regained their prefire stem diameter. Bare patches of ground between regenerating shrubs and bamboo clumps may persist for a decade or more following burning.


An updated version of Figure 2 together with other maps and images of study sites and photographs of páramo plants and vegetation are available in this online document:

Horn, Sally P and Kerr, Matthew T., "Hypericum irazuense Kuntze ex N. Robson in the Buenavista and Chirripó páramos of Costa Rica: Photographs of Stem Cross Sections, Plants, and Study Sites" (2017). Geography Publications and Other Works.

Submission Type

Publisher's Version

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