, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 267-283
Date: 02 Apr 2011

Allometry, biomass, and chemical content of Novel African Tulip Tree (Spathodea campanulata ) Forests in Puerto Rico

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The African tulip tree, Spathodea campanulata, the most common tree in Puerto Rico, forms novel forest types with mixtures of native and other introduced tree species. Novel forests increase in area in response to human activity and there is no information about their biomass accumulation and nutrient cycling. We established allometric relationships and chemically analyzed plant parts of African tulip trees to determine the concentration and standing stock of chemical elements (C, N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Mn, Al, Fe, Na), and ash. Trees ranged in diameter at breast height from 8 to 85 cm and in height from 8.8 to 28 m. The concentrations of N, P, K, and Ca in leaves of the African tulip tree were similar to those of the native pioneer Cecropia schreberiana and higher than those of mature forest tree species in Puerto Rico. The over bark wood volume of African tulip trees in nine forest stands where it was dominant ranged from 163 to 849 m3/ha. Aboveground biomass ranged from 60 to 296 Mg/ha, and N and P stocks ranged from 190 to 988 and 32 to 137 kg/ha, respectively. Novel forests on abandoned agricultural lands can store more biomass and elements than native and plantation forest stands of similar age.