Growth, carbon sequestration, and management of native tree plantations in humid regions of Costa Rica
The Costa Rican government has provided incentives for reforestation programs since 1986 and initiated a Payment for Environmental Services program in 1996. These incentives yielded native species reforestation programs throughout the country. This study examines growth, carbon sequestration, and management of seven native tree species (Vochysia guatemalensis, Vochysia ferruginea, Hyeronima alchorneoides, Calophyllum brasiliense, Terminalia amazonia, Virola koschnyi, and Dipteryx panamensis) in single-species plantations managed by small landowners.
Research goals & methods
A total of 179 plots were measured on 32 small and medium-sized plantations in the Caribbean and Northern lowlands of Costa Rica. Data were collected between 9-14 years after planting. V. guatemalensis, V. ferruginea, H. alchorneoides, and T. amazonia had the greatest diameter, total height, and volume growth. T. amazonia and D. panamensis sequestered the most carbon in biomass at 53.9 Mg C ha-1 and 52.5 Mg C ha-1 respectively. Plantations that had been thinned had the fastest growth rates.
Conclusions & takeaways
This study enhances the criteria elaborated in previous findings to improve species choices for reforestation and silvicultural management in the humid tropics. In addition to providing timber, supplemental income, and ecological functions, small tropical plantations can also sequester atmospheric CO2.
Growth, carbon sequestration, and management of native tree plantations in humid regions of Costa Rica. New Forests. 2007;34:253–268. doi:10.1007/s11056-007-9052-9..
- Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies