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Effects of nurse tree species on growth, environment and physiology of underplanted Toona ciliata (F. Muell.).

concluded 03/2009

Summary

Toona ciliata (Australian red cedar) is highly valued for veneer and furniture production and endangered in its natural ecosystems due to exploitation. This work aims to improve the availability of this wood on the market and help reduce pressure on the species in its native environment. An afforestation project cultivating Toona ciliata was introduced to the study site in Misiones, Argentina. The local cultivation faces losses caused by drought and frost, because T. ciliata requires overstory protection when young. Consequently, Grevillea robusta, Pinus elliottii x Pinus caribaea, and Pinus taeda, nurse tree species which also produce sought-after wood were chosen to provide protection. One-year-old T. ciliata seedlings were planted underneath each of the six-year-old nurse species. An inventory after one year indicated that both survival and height increment were highest underneath G. robusta and lowest underneath P. elliottii x P. caribaea. In this study I am examining possible facilitation and competition mechanisms between the overstory and understory T. ciliata. Extensive empirical data collected over the course of 3 years will be utilized to project potential growth scenarios for several rotations using a computer based forest growth model.

 

Supervisor: Suzanne W. Simard, Cindy Prescot, Brad Seely, Jürgen Bauhus
Researcher: Julia Dordel
Funding: Danzer Group (Switzerland), University of British Columbia (Canada) 
Duration: May 2005  -  Sep 2008
Cooperation Partners: University of British Columbia (Canada); Institute of Silviculture, University Freiburg
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