Pachira quinata

Initial performance and reforestation potential of 24 tropical tree species planted across a precipitation gradient in the Republic of Panama

Background

Panama has experience significant forest loss due to the conversion of forest lands to agriculture and pasture, causing significant negative effects on ecosystems. Since natural regeneration is slow, the country has recently turned to plantation forestry in order to restore these degraded. Yet, many of these initiatives simply use a few exotic species. This study explores the performance of a range of species, including both native and exotic, in order to better ensure the success and adoption of diversified reforestation strategies.  

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Foliar herbivory and leaf traits of five native tree species in a young plantation of Central Panama

Background

Timber plantations often provide economic incentives for land owners to restore abandoned pastures or agricultural land to forest, yet the threat of insect herbivory can diminish these new plantations and compromise the efforts. This study seeks to understand the extent of these threats on tree plantations in Panama. 

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Restoring abandoned pasture land with native tree species in Costa Rica: Effects of exotic grass competition and light

Background

Understanding the early establishment requirements and performance of tropical tree seedlings is essential to ensuring the success of restoration plantings. This study characterizes growth and light requirements of six common neotropical tree species: Pseudosamanea guachapele (Fabaceae), Tabebuia impetiginosa (Bignoniaceae), Ceiba pentandra (Bombacaceae), Pachira quinata (Bombacaceae), Dalbergia retusa (Fabaceae), and Tabebuia rosea (Bignoniaceae).

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The Structure and Composition of a Tropical Dry Forest Landscape After Land Clearance; Azuero Peninsula, Panama

background

This article describes natural regeneration that has occured in five different habitat types in the Azuero Peninsula of Panama. These habitat types include active pasture, 2-yr abandoned pasture, 5-yr abandoned pasture, forest riparian zones, and a secondary forest fragment. This region is characterized by agricultural and cattle ranching landcapes in areas that previously were tropical dry forest (1700 mm rainfall per year) until the mid-20th century and have recently been undergoing rapid turnover in land ownership.

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Tree plantations on farms: Evaluating growth and potential for success

Background

Interest in native species is growing across the tropics as reforestation of degraded lands becomes more widespread. Evaluation of successful species is an important component of reforestation planning.

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Local and Regional Environmental Variation Influences the Growth of Tropical Trees in Selection Trials in the Republic of Panama

background

This study evaluates the effect of varying site conditions on the basal area of 21 neotropical and 2 exotic tree species at three different sites in Panama. 

Research Goals & Methods

Seedlings were planted in 2003 in randomized blocks and measured for basal diameter, height, live crown length, and crown diameter each year from 2004 to 2006.

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The Agua Salud Project, Central Panama

Background

The Agua Salud Project is located in the watershed that includes and surrounds the Panama Canal, an engineering feat that largely relies on natural hydrological systems. Much of this watershed has been deforested, thus an official policy has been put into place to reforest and regain ecosystem services. This project seeks to utilize the globalize role of the canal to bring attention to the ecosystem services of the region. 

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Restoration of dry tropical forests in Central America: A review of pattern and process

Background

Much information on restoration and management exists for wet tropical forests of Central America but comparatively little work has been done in the dry forests of this region. Such information is critical for reforestation efforts that are now occurring throughout Central America. This paper describes processes of degradation due to land use and provides a conceptual framework for the restoration of dry tropical forest, of which less than 2% remains intact.

Open access copy available

Initial Performance and Reforestation Potential of 24 Tropical Tree Species Planted Across a Precipitation Gradient in the Republic of Panama

background

The authors of this study  planted trees from 22 native species and two exotic species to use in selection trials testing the growth and survivability of trees in plantations in three different sites.

Research Goals & Methods

The sites were chosen for their precipitation gradient from Soberania National Park (2226mm mean annual rainfall), Los Santos (1946mm rainfall), and Rio Hato (1107mm rainfall). Survival, basal diameter, height, crown diameter and wood volume index (VI) were calculated after two years of growth.

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Between and Within-Site Comparisons of Structural and Physiological Characteristics and Foliar Nutrient Content of 14 Tree Species at a Wet, Fertile Site and a Dry, Infertile Site in Panama

background

This study seeks to analyze how stress resulting from different amounts of precipitation and soil nutrients affects tree growth. The study hypothesized that tree structure and physiology as well as foliar nutrient content would be significantly different between the sites, and trees at the wet, fertile sites would perform better. Secondly, the study hypothesized finding a greater variability of integrated tree growth at the drier site, as plant stress is expected to accentuate differences in performance. Lastly, it was hypothesized that leaf mass area and foliar N would predict photosynthetic capacity.

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