Growth analysis of nine multipurpose woody legumes native from southern Mexico
Deforestation in Mexico has produced significant soil degradation. Reforestation with native leguminous shrubs and trees can contribute to restoration of soil properties. This study evaluates early growth of nine leguminous tree and shrub species in nursery conditions in an ejido (communal agricultural land) in southern Mexico.
Research goals & methods
To simulate local cultivation methods, seeds of the nine species were collected locally and propagated in trays of local riverbank soil. Seedlings were transplanted upon emergency to poly bags with the same substrate in a 30% shade greenhouse. Seedlings were measured periodically throughout the six-month study period. At the initial harvest, RGR values did not differ significantly among species. The three Acacia species had the highest biomass productions and highest R/S ratios but the lowest RL/RDW ratios. A. farnesiana and Lysiloma divaricata had the largest mean SL, whereas the smallest mean SL corresponded to the two Leucaena species and to Lysiloma acapulcensis. Pithecellobium dulce had the lowest final RGR.
Conclusions & takeaways
The authors recommend all of the nine species with the exception of P. dulce for use in reforestation projects. The authors suggest that species-specific growth rates at various stages of development can be useful in identifying the optimal times for plantation of nursery-grown seedlings.
Growth analysis of nine multipurpose woody legumes native from southern Mexico. Forest Ecology and Management. 1998;110:329–341. doi:10.1016/s0378-1127(98)00298-9..
- Laboratorio de Ecología, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México