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Term Primary forest
Definition

An ecosystem characterized by an abundance of mature trees that have not been altered by human activities. Human impact in these forests has been limited to low levels of hunting, fishing and artisanal harvesting of forest products and, in some cases, a low-density migratory nomadic agriculture. The so-called virgin forests, climax vegetation or undisturbed forests are primary forests. 

In the Dominican Republic, primary forests-- or patches of primary forests-- may be found within protected areas such as the Ebano Verde Scientific Reserve, Loma Quita Espuela and the Aniana Vargas National Park.

Among the species that make up primary forests are the ebony (Magnolia pallescens and Magnolia hamoni), the manacles (Prestoea montana), the palo de viento (Didymopanax  tremulus), mora (Mora abbotti) and mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni).

There is no precise information on how much of the country's current total forest cover, which is close to 33% of the nation’s land, is primary forests. However, due to the degradation they have suffered over time, we can deduce that the percentage of primary forest vegetation is low.1, 2

1 Hoy Digital. Cobertura boscosa  de RD creció 5.4% en 7 años [en línea]; 29 de Diciembre 2010. <http://www.hoy.com.do/el-pais/2010/12/29/355927/Cobertura-boscosa-de-RD-crecio-54-en-7-anos> (Accessed: Feb. 12, 2011).

2 Llibre, C; Quírico, M; Ramos, H. Atlas de Biodiversidad de la República Dominicana; Santillana: Santo Domingo, DO., 2


Topic  BiodiversityForest resourcesProtected areasLegal and Institutional