Understory Development in Young Cordia alliodora Plantations

Understory Development in Young Cordia alliodora Plantations


This article presents the findings of a study evaluating the biomass and composition of understory plants in 1- and 5- year old plantations at the La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica.

Reserach Goals & Methods

This study sampled plantations of Cordia alliodora in monoculture plots and in polyculture plots with trees interplanted with monocots (Euterpe macrospadix, Euterpe oleracea, and Heliconia imbricata).

Conclusions & Takeaways

In the first year, there were no significant differences in the understory biomass (above-ground) between the monoculture and polyculture plots. After 5 years, the biomass in the monocultures was significantly higher than in the polyculture plots. In the 5 year old monoculture plots, understory diversity consisted of 20 species from 15 families. The authors suggest that understory growth in the polyculture was slowed by the competition with the monocots. The author suggests that the diversity in the monoculture plots of Cordia alliodora can support a comparable diversity of regenerating species than in naturally regenerating sites of the same age since abandonment.



Hummel S. Understory development in young Cordia alliodora plantations. New Forests. 2000;19:159–170. doi:10.1023/a:1006608905535.


  • Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland Forestry Sciences Lab, Portland OR, USA