Growth of Euterpe edulis under forest and agroforestry in southern Brazil

Growth of Euterpe edulis under forest and agroforestry in southern Brazil


The shade-tolerant palm Euterpe edulis is prevalent in native forests and in reforestation of banana plantations in Brazil. However, there are no data comparing its plantation growth performance to its native forest growth. This study evaluates growth and mortality of E. edulis planted in secondary dense forest and in banana plantations, as well as their relationships with site variables.

Research goals & methods

Twelve banana plantation sites and 12 sites in secondary dense forests were selected. At each site, 25 young individuals of E. edulis were planted in 2003. Morphometric variables, mortality, and herbivory were recorded annually for five years. In 2008, canopy and soil variables were measured at each plot. E. edulis growth was five times higher in banana plots compared to forest plots; CAI on height reached 38.9 cm in banana plots, compared to 7.3 cm in forest plots. Mortality was relatively low and similar at both sites, presenting an intraspecific density-dependence pattern.

Conclusions & takeaways

Significant correlations were found between morphometric variables, mortality, and herbivory of E. edulis and canopy and soil variables. The study suggests that the plasticity of E. edulis allows for its establishment in banana plantations, indicating high potential for management in multi-species plantations.


Favreto R, Mello RSilva Pere, Baptista LRios de Mo. Growth of Euterpe edulis Mart. (Arecaceae) under forest and agroforestry in southern Brazil. Agroforestry Systems. 2010;80:303–313. doi:10.1007/s10457-010-9321-z.


  • State Foundation for Agricultural Research--FEPAGRO, Maquiné, RS, Brazil
  • Department of Ecology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
  • Ação Nascente Maquiné-ANAMA, Maquiné, RS, Brazil
  • Post-Graduate Program in Botany, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul--UFRGS, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil