Elvira Cuevas

Elvira Cuevas
University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras | UPR-RP · Department of Biology

PhSc

About

76
Publications
18,206
Reads
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5,731
Citations
Citations since 2017
13 Research Items
1489 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
Introduction
Elvira Cuevas currently works at the Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras. Elvira does research in Soil Science, Environmental Science and Ecology. Their current project is 'Expedição Limite Sul'.
Additional affiliations
October 2001 - present
University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras
Position
  • Professor (Full)
September 1988 - August 2001
Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research
Position
  • Investigador Asociado Titular

Publications

Publications (76)
Article
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Tropical urban coastal wetland regeneration is complex. Wetland plant biodiversity varies due to past and present land use, nutrient inputs, hydrological conditions, and terrestrial/marine connectivity. The intensity of atmospheric disturbances, such as hurricanes, will determine these systems’ level of disturbance and regeneration capacity. On Sep...
Article
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Mangrove wetlands are important ecosystems, yet human development coupled with climate change threatens mangroves and their large carbon stores. This study seeks to understand the soil carbon dynamics in hydrologically altered mangrove swamps by studying aboveground biomass estimates and belowground soil carbon concentrations in mangrove swamps wit...
Chapter
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Plant diversity is a key factor influencing belowground dynamics including microclimate and decomposer arthropod communities. This study addresses the effect of individual plant species on belowground arthropods by focusing on seasonal variations in precipitation, temperature and arthropods along the vertical organic matter profile. In the Guanica...
Chapter
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This study evaluated the effect that tree species traits and wet/dry periods display on soil microbial communities in a tropical dry forest in Puerto Rico. Understanding the ecological role of soil microorganisms in tropical dry forests and how they relate to different tree species is necessary to protect these fragile forest ecosystems. Thus, by u...
Article
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Coral reefs are facing unprecedented global, regional and local threats that continue to degrade near-shore habitats. Water quality degradation, due to unsustainable development practices at coastal watersheds, is one of the greatest stressors across multiple spatial scales. The goal of this study was to assess near-shore coral reef benthic communi...
Article
Shrubland vegetation has not received as much scientific attention in the Caribbean as forest vegetation has. However, shrublands constitute ~25% of the woody vegetation classification units in the Caribbean, and in 10 islands that we analyzed, the average cover of shrublands was 16% of the land area and 27% of the vegetation area. Caribbean vegeta...
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The exchange of nutrients and organic material that occurs along the riparian zones of stream ecosystems is vital to providing energetic subsidies for both aquatic and terrestrial food webs. Orb-weaver spiders are major consumers of emerging aquatic insects, so impacts to the stream ecosystem and the riparian zone around it can have significant eff...
Chapter
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We examined the soil microbial community structure and soil enzyme potential within three dominant tree species at a tropical dry forest during five months. Changes within microbial community in response to sampling periods and tree species were evaluated using fatty acid methyl-ester and enzymes potential. We found that both tree species and preci...
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Tropical dry forests on calcareous substrate constitute the main vegetation cover in many islands of the Caribbean. Dry climate and nutrient scarcity in those environments are ideal to investigate the potential role of high levels of soil calcium (Ca) in regulating plant selection and productivity. We analyzed the elemental composition of soil, loo...
Article
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Forests on calcareous substrates constitute a large fraction of the vegetation in Puerto Rico. Plant growth on these substrates may be affected by nutrient deficiencies, mainly P and Fe, resulting from high pH and formation of insoluble compounds of these elements. The occurrence of these forests in humid and dry areas provides an opportunity to co...
Article
We evaluated the response to sea level rise and climatic changes of the northeastern Caribbean by establishing a palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of the Flamenco Lagoon, located in the coastal side of the Guanica Dry Forest, a MAB/UNESCO reserve in the semi-arid southwestern coast of Puerto Rico (17°57'10.31″N, 66°50'39.30″W). The reconstruction...
Article
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The species Echinometra lucunter, Echinometra viridis, Lytechinus variegatus, Tripneustes ventricosus, and Diadema antillarum are the most common sea urchins of littoral habitats in the Caribbean. T. ventricosus and L. variegatus are associated with seagrass beds, while the other three species usually inhabit hardground substrates. Food preferences...
Article
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Mangrove communities were selected in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil, near their southernmost limit of distribution, to study mineral nutrient relation in soils and plants. Communities included three true mangrove species, Rhizophora mangle, Laguncularia racemosa and Avicennia germinans, and two associated species, the fern Acrostichum danaeif...
Article
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The spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) was introduced to Puerto Rico over 50 years ago with the Tortuguero Lagoon Natural Reserve (TLNR) as its epicenter, where it is now established as an apex predator. Although concerns have been raised regarding the potential impact of this naturalized predator on Puerto Rico's native fauna, little was known...
Article
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Web-spinning spiders that inhabit stream channels are considered specialists of aquatic ecosystems and are major consumers of emerging aquatic insects, while other spider taxa are more commonly found in riparian forests and as a result may consume more terrestrial insects. To determine if there was a difference in spider taxa abundance between rive...
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The southernmost presence of Rhizophora mangle in the western Atlantic coast occurs in coastal wetlands between 27 and 28ºS in the State of Santa Catarina, Brazil. We selected mangrove communities at the estuary of Rio Tavares, Florianopolis, and Sonho Beach, Palhosa, for measurement of photosynthetic performance and intrinsic water use efficiency...
Article
Direct measurements of net N2 production, oxygen, and inorganic nutrient fluxes at the sediment–water interface were conducted in the San José Lagoon (SJL), a tropical coastal lagoon located at the San Juan Bay Estuary, Puerto Rico, that is heavily impacted by anthropogenic activities. Sediment of the SJL had high organic matter (average = 16.7 %;...
Article
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We report results of an ecophysiological characterization of three mangrove species (Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa, and Rhizophora mangle) and a mangrove associated species (Thespesia populnea) co-occurring at the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Aguirre, Puerto Rico. The study was conducted in the summer of 2009 and in...
Article
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Analisou-se a composição nutricional e isotópica (C e N) de folhas de mogno (. Swietenia macrophylla King) em plantações estabelecidas em solos e climas contrastantes na América Central (Quintana Roo, Yucatán, México) e na América do Sul (Pará, Brasil). O objetivo foi determinar a adaptabilidade dessa espécie para grandes diferenças na disponibilid...
Article
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We analyzed the nutritional composition and isotope ratios (C and N) of big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla King) leaves in plantations established on contrasting soils and climates in Central America (State of Quintana Roo, Yucatán, México) and South America (State of Pará, Brazil). The objective was to determine the adaptability of this spec...
Article
Karst topography links rainfall to groundwater recharge; therefore, possible changes in the hydrology can play an important role in ecosystem function especially in tropical dry forests where water is the most limiting resource. This study investigates the temporal variation in isotopic composition (δ18O and δD values) of rainwater and groundwater...
Chapter
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https://www.intechopen.com/books/tropical-forests/quantifying-variation-of-soil-arthropods-using-different-sampling-protocols-is-diversity-affected-/
Chapter
Full-text available
https://www.intechopen.com/books/tropical-forests/quantifying-variation-of-soil-arthropods-using-different-sampling-protocols-is-diversity-affected-/
Chapter
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Peat samples from a wide range of sites in the Guayana uplands and highlands of southeastern Venezuela have been dated using the 14C technique. The simultaneous determination of the natural abundance of 13C in these samples (δ13C values) allowed the separation of four types of peat deposits related to the photosynthetic type of the predominant vege...
Article
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Dwarf mangroves on peat substrate growing in eastern Puerto Rico (Los Machos, Ceiba State Forest) were analyzed for element concentration, leaf sap osmolality, and isotopic signatures of C and N in leaves and substrate. Mangrove communities behind the fringe presented poor structural development with maximum height below 1.5m, lacked a main stem, a...
Article
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Low stature woody vegetation of the south-west coast of Puerto Rico grows on a rocky calcareous substrate where plants can only root in holes, cracks, and crevices accumulating water and sediments that allow seed germination and seedling development. Being in a coastal location these communities are influenced by steady onshore winds, high solar ra...
Article
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1. Dominant plant functional types (PFTs) are expected to be primary determinants of communities of other above- and below-ground organisms. Here, we report the effects of the experimental removal of different PFTs on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities in a shrubland ecosystem in central Argentina. 2. On the basis of the biomass-ratio h...
Article
Calculations using self-consistent-field (SCF) molecular orbitals (MO) with intermediate neglect of differential overlap (INDO) were carried out on a series of 5-substituted indole-3-acetic acid derivatives. Mulliken bond-order calculations of the N–H bond as a function of substituent revealed little resemblance to the order of plant auxin activity...
Data
1. Dominant plant functional types (PFTs) are expected to be primary determinants of communities of other above- and below-ground organisms. Here, we report the effects of the experimental removal of different PFTs on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities in a shrubland ecosystem in central Argentina.2. On the basis of the biomass-ratio hy...
Article
The land crab Cardisoma guanhumi populations have been on the decline in Puerto Rico for the last three decades. While some studies suggest overexploitation and pesticides as causing the observed population declines, the effect of land-use/land-cover (LULC) changes have not been investigated. In this study we compared the abundance and size of Card...
Article
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Different components of functional biodiversity, such as functional type richness and composition, have been reported to affect the decomposition of litter mixtures. In spite of the numerous reports of these effects, mechanisms underlying patterns of decomposition in litter mixtures are still unclear. We analyzed whether mixture decomposition was a...
Article
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Pterocarpus officinalis L. is a dominant tree of freshwater coastal wetlands in the Caribbean and the Guiana regions. It is frequently associated with mangroves in areas with high rainfall and/or surface run-off. We hypothesized that P. officinalis is a freshwater swamp species that when occurring in association with mangroves occupies low-salinity...
Article
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We studied gas exchange, leaf dimensions, litter production, leaf and litterfall chemistry, nutrient flux to the forest floor, retranslocation rates, and nutrient use efficiency of mangroves in Jobos Bay, Puerto Rico. The fringe forest had a salinity gradient from the ocean (35 per thousand) to a salt flat (100 per thousand) and a basin (about 80 p...
Article
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While the amount of reactive nitrogen circulating at the global level has increased markedly in the last century, the effects of this increase are largely seen at the regional level due to interacting ecological and socio-economic factors. In contrast with most other regions of the world, Latin America and the Caribbean (LA-Ca) stand out due to the...
Article
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Anthropogenic actions are altering fluxes of nitrogen (N) in the biosphere at unprecedented rates. Efforts to study these impacts have concentrated in the Northern hemisphere, where experimental data are available. In tropical developing countries, however, experimental studies are lacking. This paper summarizes available data and assesses the impa...
Chapter
Anthropogenic actions are altering fluxes of nitrogen (N) in the biosphere at unprecedented rates. Efforts to study these impacts have concentrated in the Northern hemisphere, where experimental data are available. In tropical developing countries, however, experimental studies are lacking. This paper summarizes available data and assesses the impa...
Article
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Melinis minutiflora Beauv. (Poaceae) is an African grass that is invading mid-elevation Trachypogon savannas in Venezuela. The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of soil fertility, competition and soil disturbance in facilitating Melinis' invasion and growth in these savanna sites. We manipulated soil fertility by adding nitro...
Chapter
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Mahogany species from the Caribbean, Central America, and South America and the hybrid of small-leaf and big-leaf mahogany were planted on contrasting soils under different climates in Puerto Rico. Species performance differed markedly according to water availability. Big-leaf mahogany and the hybrid survived and grew at higher rates in the wetter...
Article
We examined nutrient limitation to primary productivity in a secondary savanna in the interior branch of the Coastal Range of Venezuela, which was converted from forest to savanna more than 100 years ago. We manipulated soil nutrients by adding nitrogen (+N), phosphorus and potassium (+PK), and nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (+NPK) to intact s...
Article
With a complex assemblage of largely intact ecosystems that support the earth’s greatest diversity of life, the Amazon basin is a focal point of international scientific interest. And, as development and colonization schemes transform the landscape in increasing measure, scientists from around the world are directing attention to questions of regio...
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Several lines of evidence suggest that nitrogen in most tropical forests is relatively more available than N in most temperate forests, and even that it may function as an excess nutrient in many tropical forests. If this is correct, tropical forests should have more open N cycles than temperate forests, with both inputs and outputs of N large rela...
Article
We studied the rates and patterns of carbon and nutrient fluxes in litterfall in ten tropical tree plantation species grown at the USDA Forest Service Arboretum in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico. The stands were 26-years old and grew under similar climatic and edaphic conditions. Individual plantation species ranked differently in te...
Article
Global change includes land-use change, elevated CO2 concentrations, increased temperature and increased rainfall variability. All four aspects by themselves and in combination will influence the role of roots in linking below- and above-ground ecosystem function via organic and inorganic resource flows. Root-mediated ecosystem functions which may...
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This article reviews literature and summarizes experiments to investigate the extent lu which productivity of tropical montane rain forests is constrained by low nutrient supply, On any one mountain, with increase in altitude foliar N decreases, and P and K usually decrease, but Ca and Rig show no consistent trend. However for a wide range of sites...
Chapter
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The challenge of working belowground, on the least understood portion of tropical forests, has been met by increasing numbers of studies over the last 25 years. For many basic questions concerning root physiology, however, only preliminary observations have been made, often in only one forest type or within a single species. In contrast to abovegro...
Article
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MANY tropical soils are poor in inorganic nutrients and rely on the recycling of nutrients from soil organic matter to maintain fertility. In undisturbed rainforests such nutrients are recycled via the litter1; 'slash-and-burn' agriculture, meanwhile, depends on the mineralization of organic nutrients from the plant remains2,3 or on (short-lived) i...
Article
Amazon forests along a toposequence at San Carlos de Rio Negro (Venezuela) show distinct nutrient limitations depending on slope position. Soils were collected by genetic horizons and analysed to provide information on the relationships between soil P and N status and the nutrition of natural forest at three locations along the toposequence. The up...
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The interactions between water and soil nutrient availability in determining leaf nutritional composition and structural features were investigated in forests on serpentine in Maricao and Susua (Puerto Rico). These forests grow under contrasting rainfall regimes: Maricao is a wet forest located at altitudes above 500 m and receiving more than 2500...
Chapter
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Humid tropical forests as considered in this review are those forest ecosystems occurring in areas where rainfall is higher than potential evapotranspiration during most of the year. A convenient separation of the wet and dry realms of tropical environment is attained using the Bailey’s index calculated from rainfall and average temperature data (B...
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The objectives of this chapter are to examine the synchrony theme and to establish whether its conceptual elegance may be applied within cropping systems in order to enhance the productivity and sustainability of tropical production systems. The chapter opens with a description of a conceptual model of synchrony. It then examines the component proc...
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The variability of d13C values was measured in leaf, stem and root tissues of several tree species growing in closed natural and plantation forests in the Luquillo mountains of Puerto Rico. Results confirm a significant decrease of d13C values from the tree canopy to the forest floor. The values measured in understory plants growing in gaps were no...
Article
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The distribution of tree biomass and the allocation of organic matter production were measured in an 11-yr-old Pinus caribaea plantation and a paired broadleaf secondary forest growing under the same climatic conditions. The pine plantation had significantly more mass aboveground than the secondary forest (94.9 vs 35.6 t ha-1 for biomass and 10.5 v...
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Populations of Acrostichum aureum growing under contrasting conditions of soil salinity and sunlight exposure were studied in two sites in the north coast of Puerto Rico. Plant size and density of clumps under full sun exposure are larger in sites with lower soil salinity. In shady habitats with relatively high soil salinity (understory of Laguncul...
Article
Tree species from upper Rio Negro rain forests (tierra firme, tall Amazon caatinga, and bana) can be classified morphologically as sclerophylls. In some cases, as for Clusia spp., the structural characteristics fit the pachyphyll leaf type of Grubb. Nutrient content, specific leaf area, and leaf thickness of the species studied are comparable to th...
Article
The importance of litter to nutrient and organic matter storage and the possible influence of species selection on soil fertility in ten stands each consisting of a separate tree species were examined in this study. The plantations had been grown under similar conditions in an arboretum in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico. The species...
Article
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Forest types are characterized by dominant species, soil and topographical position in the sequence: mixed forest on Oxisols, yevaro and guaco forests on Ultisols and Amazon caatinga forest complex on Spodosols. The first 3 types are generally non-flooded (terra firme forests); caatinga forests have a variety of flooding regimes. Terra firme forest...
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Relationships between fine root growth, rates of litter decomposition and nutrient release were analysed in a mixed forest on Tierra Firme, a Tall Amazon Caatinga and a Low Bana on podsolized sands near San Carlos de Rio Negro. Fine root growth in the upper soil layers (root mat+10 cm upper soil) was considerably higher in the Tierra Firme forest (...
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A comparative analysis on the rate of fine litterfall and its associated nutrient fluxes was carried out in a mixed forest on Tierra Firme, a tall Amazon Caatinga and a Bana on podsolized sands near San Carlos de Rio Negro. There was seasonality in leaf fall and total litterfall in mixed forest and tall Amazon Caatinga forest but no definite trend...
Article
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Concentration of CO2, above and below the soil surface and δ13C values of plant tissues, soil litter and organic matter were measured in a caatinga forest of the upper Rio Negro basin in southern Venezuela. CO2, concentrations near the forest floor were consistently higher than in the atmosphere. CO2, gradient in the soil was very steep probably be...
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Five species accounted for 95% of the stems of at least 10cm DBH on plots totaling 0.22 ha. Mean density for stems of at least 10 cm DBH was 3671 + or - 516 stems/ha, and mean basal area 49.1 + or - 8.2 m2/ha. Aboveground woody biomass on 2 small plots of 0.0036 ha, one located on a ridge and the other 100m to the leeward, was 48 and 110 t/ha, resp...