Biomass Distribution Among Tropical Tree Species Grown Under Differing Regional Climates

Biomass Distribution Among Tropical Tree Species Grown Under Differing Regional Climates


This study presents results from species selection trials in Panama as part of the PRORENA project, which examined the most effective species and methods for Panamanian government-supported reforestation projects.

research goal & methods

In 2003, 16 native and 2 exotic species were planted in single-species plots with a 3m x 3m spacing of trees at two different sites (one seasonally wet, one more dry). All plots were thinned to 50% of their original density at two years after plantation establishment, and the thinned trees were measured for biomass and biomass partitioning.

conclusions & takeaways

For seven species, there were significant differences between the sites in biomass and biomass partitioning; the humid site had greater biomass than the dry site. At the humid site, Acacia mangium, Gliricidia sepium, and Diphysia robinioides achieved canopy closure (before thinning) by year 2. The study’s model for biomass was upheld based on the relationships of biomass to height and basal diameter, suggesting that for 1-3 yr old trees, the biomass equations can be useful as a predictor of biomass and potentially carbon storage for the tree species in this study.


Bastien-Henri S, Park A, Ashton M, Messier C. Biomass distribution among tropical tree species grown under differing regional climates. Forest Ecology and Management. 2010;260:403–410. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2010.04.035.


  • Centre d’étude de la Forêt, Département des sciences biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
  • University of Winnipeg, Centre for Forest Interdisciplinary Research, Department of Biology, Winnipeg, Canada
  • Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, CT
  • Native Species Reforestation Project (PRORENA), Center for Tropical Forest Science, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute