Performance of 15 tropical tree species recruited or transplanted on restoration settings
Background. Minimal restoration intervention includes actions to stop disturbance so natural succession may take place whereas maximal intervention involves the establishment of plantings.
Questions. To evaluate the success of minimal versus maximal restoration intervention, the performance of recruits and transplants was assessed. To this end, performance of 15 native tree species was predicted using life-history, their origin (recruits or transplants) and 12 plant functional traits.
Study site and years of study. This study was carried out in pastures at Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico in 5 years old restoration settings.
Methods. Pioneer and non-pioneer specie were planted in 16 30 × 30 m plots whereas natural recruitment was evaluated in plantings and at eight additional fenced plots.
Results. Overall 15 species recruited or planted, pioneers had higher performance than non-pioneer. Transplant shock in terms of survival and height growth rates was overcome after 5 years probably as a result of increases in diameter growth rates.Conclusions. Tree species were divided in three groups to give recommendation for restoration: (1) Species in the Good recruiters group do not need to be transplanted; if seed sources are not close, we recommend direct seeding (i.e., Albizia purpusii, Cedrela odorata, Cecropia obstusifolia). (2) Species in the Good transplants group show very low or nil recruitment; they should be transplanted (i.e., Ochroma pyramidale, Ficus yoponensis, Cojoba arborea). (3) Species in the Poor transplants group should be transplanted but once a canopy has developed (i.e., Amphitecna tuxtlensis, Brosimum alicastrum, Bernoullia flammea).
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