Abstract

To determine the existing differences between species composition of palms in forest fragments with different disturbance regimes, three forest fragments at “El Zota”, Cariari de Guápiles, Costa Rica, were chosen according to their disturbance level: 1) Disturbed primary forest (B1-i), 2) Secondary forest (B2) and 3) Primary forest (B1). A field survey was carried out in nested plots, where palms were identified and counted according to three size categories: i) 0.15 m to 1.35 m ii) 1.35 m to 5 m and iii) more than 5 m in height. The diversity found in B1 and B1-i is very similar, meanwhile the B2 has the lowest diversity. Palm abundance and distribution were influenced by the level of disturbance of the fragment. The B1-i presents the higher diversity in the first size categories, while B1 has the highest abundance of palms over 5 m tall.