Article

New Forests

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 83-99

First online:

Evaluation of native tree species for the rehabilitation of deforested areas in a Mexican cloud forest

  • R.A. PedrazaAffiliated withInstituto de Ecología, A. C.
  • , G. Williams-LineraAffiliated withInstituto de Ecología, A. C. Email author 

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Abstract

Four native tree species (Liquidambar styraciflua, Juglans pyriformis, Podocarpus matudae, and Carpinus caroliniana) were evaluated for their suitability in rehabilitating degraded areas of Mexican cloud forest. Plant survival and growth in height and diameter were determined in three mixed-experimental plantations with different land use histories; their performance was compared with two on-farm plantations started by landowners for forest restoration. Nearby forest fragments were controls for soil compaction. An experimental plantation with remnant trees had the highest plant survival (82%), height, basal diameter and relative growth rate. The plantation with the steepest slope had high plant survival (63%) and growth. The plantation characterized by dominance of grasses and compacted soils had the lowest survival (22%) and growth. On-farm plantations had good establishment of planted trees (5–10 species planted), and facilitated the recruitment of 9–11 woody species. Carpinus and Liquidambar appear to be suitable species for reforestation in all these areas. Podocarpus grew relatively slowly, although it performed well in two experimental sites. Juglans had high survival (76%) under the stressful conditions of the most adverse site, and therefore may be useful for rehabilitation of degraded sites. Differences among species and sites strongly suggest that species success depends on plantation site quality.

Carpinus caroliniana Juglans pyriformis Liquidambar styraciflua Mexico Mixed plantations Podocarpus matudae Rehabilitation Tropical montane cloud forest