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Promotion of natural regeneration to establish productive managed forests on fallow land near Pucallpa, in the Peruvian Amazon

concluded 02/2008


Successional vegetation in the Pucallpa region, as in other areas of humid tropical forest in Perú, is mainly caused by timber exploitation and migratory agriculture. This has given rise to a patchwork mosaic of crops, pasture, fallow, secondary and residual forests, each of a distinct age and expanse, with a wide range of structure and floristic composition. Local demand for sawn timber originating from secondary forests has existed for several years. This has been associated with very low transport and transformation costs, in contrast to the trees with larger dimensions from primary forests. Generally secondary forests are located near roads or rivers, and timber exploitation is a limited form of local industry and provides an extra source of income for small landholders. The growing demand for this useful resource has resulted in a decline in the quantity of trees and the exploitation of smaller trees. Despite the rapid growth rates of species from secondary forests, the low value of the timber means plantations of these species are not profitable. Therefore, knowledge regarding the ecological conditions required for the establishment of the few secondary forest species that reach commercial dimensions is required. On the other hand, the presence of stands dominated by few commercial pioneer tree species, suggests strongly the necessity to obtain knowledge of the decisive ecological conditions for their establishment. Propagation strategies for pioneer tree species are being employed in temperate forests to promote the establishment of natural regeneration.
This study employs seed trees and direct sowing techniques to establish productive stands of four pre-selected native tree species. Each of the following are investigated in the study; the description of seedling morphology for purposes of identification of naturally regenerated species; the evaluation of seed tree phenology; seedling establishment distances; natural regeneration density, growth and establishment; germination on different substrate types; direct sowing germination and survival rates. Regression curves for height and diameter growth at a possible harvest time for the evaluated species were also estimated.
Researcher: Juan Diaz
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. J. Huss
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