STRI publishes first volume on smart reforestation™
December 17, 2012
Year-round hot weather and abundant rainfall does not make tropical reforestation straightforward.
Tropical soils are generally poor in nutrients. Torrential rainfall sweeps away exposed dirt on deforested land. Livestock compress the remaining soil, making it more impervious to water. Invasive grasses often outcompete native seedlings.
Comprehensive land management can resolves these obstacles, yet nearly always one remains. How, exactly, do different tropical trees reproduce? There is no universal answer. Healthy tropical forests hold hundreds of species and each has unique regeneration needs.
After more than a decade of collecting seeds and learning what it takes to make them grow, STRI has published a nursery guide for 120 tree species native to Panama and the region. The data comes from the STRIYale native tree species project, PRORENA, and was complied by STRI/ELTI postdoctoral investigator Francisco Román. “Many of the 120 species contained in this guide are naturally distributed from Mexico to Peru and Bolivia,” says Francisco, now headed to his native Peru to develop reforestation projects as a University of Florida investigator. “I don't arrive empty-handed.”
The next guide - on how to make seedlings thrive in nature - is being edited by Francisco and will be published soon.