The Rio Abajo State Forest is a moist karst forest with prominent limestone hills in Arecibo and Utuado, Puerto Rico. Ridges and valleys of the limestone hills differ substantially in soil moisture and climate, despite the elevation difference being relatively small compared to other mountainous tropical forests.
My study aims to describe how the forest changes from the valleys to ridges of limestone hills at the stand and leaf level. At the stand level, I will be comparing the forest structure and composition between the ridge and valley. At the leaf level I will be comparing the relative dominance of the following leaf traits: leaf area, leaf type (simple vs compound), leaf width, pubescence, leaf thickness, and deciduousness at both elevations. In addition to comparing the forest characteristics, my study will also determine if there is intraspecific variation in leaf morphology due to moisture differences between the ridges and valleys.