Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Science

First Committee Member

Lawrence R. Walker

Number of Pages



I examined soil and vegetation characteristics on a 60 yr chronosequence of abandoned paved roads in Puerto Rico. Rapid recovery obscured successional changes in soil regeneration. Littermass, bulk density, soil moisture, soil organic matter, and total Kjeldahl nitrogen reached forest levels within 11 yr of road abandonment despite residual pavement. Road soil pH showed a clear successional trend, and approached the more acidic forest soils within 60 yr. Pool sizes were similar to the forest by ≥30 yr; Road revegetation displayed strong successional trends across the chronosequence. Vegetation on roads abandoned for ≥30 yr reached a mature forest state for stem count, species richness, canopy height, and canopy cover characteristics. Basal area, understory cover, and diversity measures reached adjacent forest levels within 60 yr. Species composition remained disparate between road and forest. Adjacent forest conditions were the most significant in determining both soil and vegetation recovery trajectories.


Abandoned; Forest; Humid; Paved; Puerto Rico; Rain; Recovery; Roads; Soil; Tropical; Vegetation

Controlled Subject

Ecology; Environmental sciences

File Format


File Size

3768.32 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have the full text removed from Digital Scholarship@UNLV, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.


IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit