Journal Articles

Responses of 20 Native Tree Species to Reforestation Strategies for Abandoned Farmland in Panama

Background

In the tropics, deforestation often leads to unproductive agriculture and results in degraded grasslands. This study seeks to understand why forests fail to regenerate naturally in these ecosystems. 

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Promoting Biodiversity: Advances in Evaluating Native Species for Reforestation

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This article describes the design of a long-term species screening trial conducted at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica.

Research Goals & Methods

Growth and survivability data is presented for 84 species (17 popular exotics used for timber and 67 little-known local species with timber potential) at 3 years of age.

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Leaf Litter Decomposition and Mulch Performance from Mixed and Monospecific Plantations of Native Tree Species in Costa Rica

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This research looks at leaf litter decomposition rates and mulch performance of four native tree species in mixed and monospecific plantations at the La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica. The four species considered were Callophylum brasiliense, Jacaranda copaia, Vochysia guatemalensis, and Strypnodendron microstachyum. The faster the decomposition, the faster the nutrient transfer from the trees into the soils for uptake by other trees or by crops when the leaves are used as mulch.

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Tree Management in the Northwestern Andean Cordillera of Peru

Background

Peasant communities in the northwestern Andean Cordillera of Peru utilize many indigenous and introduced trees and shrubs to satisfy a variety of material needs. However, forest resources are over-harvested and over-grazed, contributing to soil erosion. This study aims to identify the major tree and shrub species in the region and understand their ecologies and usages, and to recommend priorities for reforestation in the region taking human usage into account.

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An Evaluation of Farmers' Experiences Planting Native Trees in Rural Panama: Implications for Reforestation with Native Species in Agricultural Landscapes

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The Panamanian government has created reforestation incentive programs to encourage farmers to plant trees in order to restore ecosystem services to degraded lands. However, many farmers and landowners choose not to participate in these programs. Additionally, many such incentive programs result in large plantations of non-native species. In 2001, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute created a native species reforestation project known as PRORENA (Proyecto de Reforestación con Especias Nativas) to study strategies for successful native species reforestation in a social, economic, and scientific context.

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Soil organic matter dynamics during 80 years of reforestation of tropical pastures

Background

Land disturbance affects soil physical and chemical properties. Some properties may be recovered over long periods of reforestation. Mosaic-pattern landscapes with shifting usages over time, common in the mountainous tropics, can reveal dynamic soil properties. This study reports on changes in soil carbon over 80 years of secondary forest growth on abandoned pasture over a chronosequence in Puerto Rico.

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Globalization, Forest Resurgence, and Environmental Politics in El Salvador

Background

El Salvador was seen as a classic case study of population growth, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity, yet contemporary studies have not supported these claims. Instead, it has been found that forest cover in El Salvador today is actually greater than previously estimated, including remnant forest, reforested areas, plantations, smallholder and NTFP plantations. This resource explores the potential drivers for this unsuspected reforestation.

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