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Toward Sustainable Cultivation of Pinus occidentalis Swartz in Haiti: Effects of Alternative Growing Media and Containers on Seedling Growth and Foliar Chemistry Public Deposited

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  • Haiti has suffered great losses from deforestation, with little forest cover remaining today. Current reforestation efforts focus on seedling quantity rather than quality. This study examined limitations to the production of high-quality seedlings of the endemic Hispaniolan pine (Pinus occidentalis Swartz). Recognizing the importance of applying sustainable development principles to pine forest restoration, the effects of growing media and container types on seedling growth were evaluated with the goal of developing a propagation protocol to produce high-quality seedlings using economically feasible nursery practices. With regard to growing media, seedlings grew best in compost-based media amended with sand. Topsoil, widely used in nurseries throughout Haiti, produced the smallest seedlings overall. Despite a low water holding capacity and limited manganese, compost-based media provided adequate levels of essential mineral nutrients (particularly nitrogen), which allowed for sufficient seedling nutrition. Seedling shoot and root growth, as well as the ratio of shoot biomass to root biomass, were greater in polybags relative to D40s. Results indicate that economically feasible improvements to existing nursery practices in Haiti can improve the early growth rates of P. occidentalis seedlings.
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  • 9
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  • 1999-4907

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