The Role of Native Species Plantations in Recovery of Understory Woody Diversity in Degraded Pasturelands of Costa Rica
This study analyzes the understory recruitment success of tropical timber plantations in order to understand biodiversity recovery on degraded lands through the use of fast-growing timber plantations. The study takes place in the Atlantic humid lowlands of Costa Rica.
Research Goals & Methods
The study quantifies understory recovery underneath six different native timber species at three different sites (La Selva Biological Station and two local plantations), with varying distances from existing forest, as well as a control site of abandoned pasture. Understory woody species are counted, identied, and separated by height class in each research plot.
Conclusions & Takeaways
All plots contained more regeneration than the control plot in the abandoned pasure. Plantations of Calophyllum brasiliense and Vochysia guatemalensis had the highest number of regenerating individuals, while Virola koschnyi had the greatest understory richness across the sites and Terminalia amazonia had the greatest number of rare species. The authors assert that unlike other studies, the result of this study does not present one species that was much more successful than the others. Nevertheless, they suggest that stands of V. guatemalensis, T. amazonia, and V. ferruginea harbored enough regeneration abundance and diversity to be good for ecological reforestation in the region.
The role of native species plantations in recovery of understory woody diversity in degraded pasturelands of Costa Rica. Forest Ecology and Management. 2004;188:1–15. doi:10.1016/s0378-1127(03)00302-5..
- School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA