Stand development of Cordia alliodora (Boraginaceae), a neotropical secondary forest tree in northern Costa Rica (1992-1996) Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/sb397b611

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  • Cordia alliodora is used for reforestation programs and farm income in northern Costa Rica. This study investigated: 1) responses of C. alliodora associated with stand density, or trees/ha (TPH), and 2) plant diversity and biomass in the understory of C. alliodora plantations. Three Nelder plots, 31 temporary plots and 6 plantations in northern Costa Rica were measured between 1992-1996. The plots included monocultures of C. alliodora (MONO) as well as polycultures of C. alliodora (POLY) planted with crops, pasture or other trees. Plot measurements included: tree height (HT), age (AGE), breast height diameter (DBH), height-to-crown (HToCR), and crown diameter (CD), site soil texture and pH. Understory measurements included the number of total plant species (SR) and aboveground biomass (UBIO). The HT of C. alliodora was related to AGE and DBH, but not to TPH. DBH was directly related to AGE and CD, and decreased with increasing TPH. The HToCR and volume/ha of C. alliodora were significantly associated with TPH, AGE and whether the plot was a MONO or POLY. The ratio of CD/DBH was related to AGE and with MONO or POLY, but not with TPH. Preliminary density management diagrams constructed from study data illustrate that for trees of a given age, volume is directly related to TPH. These results suggest that the yield of C. alliodora can be influenced via stand density management. In 1992, there was no significant difference in UBIO between MONO and POLY (79.75 kg ha^-1 and 54.27 kg ha^-1, respectively). The UBIO in MONO was significantly greater in 1996 than in 1992. In contrast, UBIO in POLY was significantly less in 1996 than in 1992. By 1996, the UBIO between MONO versus POLY was significantly different. From 1992 to 1996, SR in the MONO and POLY plantations decreased from 109 to 20. Total SR during early stand development of C. alliodora plantations was as high as secondary succession on similar sites in northern Costa Rica. It is not possible to maximize individual tree growth and stand growth of C. alliodora simultaneously. Optimal stand density will depend on site objectives for wood volume and understory production.
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