Growth characteristics of some native tree species used in silvopastoral systems in the humid lowlands of Costa Rica
Degraded pastures established throughout Central America in the latter 20th C are gradually transitioning to silvopasture or secondary forest. Understanding growth characteristics of trees on these lands is important for proper management.
Research goals & methods
Three plantations were established in 1991-1992 on abandoned pasture in La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. Plantations included both mixed-species and pure-species patches of the ten most common native trees used in local forest plantations. Measurements were taken 8 years after establishment.
Conclusions & takeaways
Despite similar conditions across plantations, plantations varied as to which trees grown singly or in mixtures had the highest DBH after 8 years, suggesting that several mixtures and monocultures may be effective in silvopasture. Of the trees grown in pure plantations, Jacaranda copaia, Vochysia guatemalensis, Virola koschnyi, Terminalia amazonia, Vochysia ferruginea, and Hieronyma alchorneoides had the highest DBH after 8 years. V. guatemalensis is one of the most preferred species in the region for reforestation of degraded pastures, while V. koschnyi and T. amazonia also have strong potential.
Growth characteristics of some native tree species used in silvopastoral systems in the humid lowlands of Costa Rica. Agroforestry Systems. 2003;59:163–170. doi:10.1023/a:1026351812036..
- Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
- Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE)
- La Selva Biological Field Station, Costa Rica