Growth of native forest species planted on abandoned pasture land in Costa Rica
Reforestation programs in Costa Rica have largely utilized only four tree species. This study tests growth rates and form of eleven additional tree species native to the humid tropics, including five N-fixing species and six non-N-fixing species.
Research goals & methods
Plantations of the eleven species in monocultures and polycultures were established on former pastureland in La Selva Biological Field Station, Costa Rica. While the long-term study focuses on the long-term effects of trees on the soil, this paper reports growth rates and form at three years of age. At three years, all trees had a survival rate above 85% except for P. tecunumanii. A. mangium had the highest mean height and DBH followed by G. arborea, V. guatemalensis, and V. ferruginea. However, V. koschnyi, V. guatemalensis, and V. ferruginea had superior form indices.
Conclusions & takeaways
Among the eleven species, V. guatemalensis and V. ferruginea displayed the highest growth rates and form indices. While A. mangium showed rapid early growth, the authors suggest that its high rates of bifurcation and slowing growth rate may be attributable to termite predation. The authors suggest that the results of this short-term study should be taken as preliminary and longer-term research should be conducted on these species.
Growth of native forest species planted on abandoned pasture land in Costa Rica. Forest Ecology and Management. 1994;70:159–167. doi:10.1016/0378-1127(94)90083-3..
- Department of Forest Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA