Mechanical cleaning and prescribed burning for recruiting commercial tree regeneration in a Bolivian dry forest
Source: New Forests, Volume 24, Number 3, November 2002 , pp. 183-194(12)
A critical component of sustainable forest management is the regeneration of commercially valuable tree species. Mechanical cleaning with machetes and chainsaws, prescribed burning, and a combination of both treatments were applied to recently-created logging gaps in a Bolivian dry forest to evaluate their impact on the natural regeneration of commercial tree species and on control of competing vegetation. The three treatments and an untreated control were applied to logging gaps during the dry season of 1998 and replicated ten times. Eight months following burning, the density of commercial tree regeneration in gaps did not differ statistically among treatments. Relative height growth of total commercial regeneration also did not differ among treatments, although it did vary by species. Reduction in competing vegetation following the application of site preparation treatments was significantly higher, but competing plant cover was beginning to converge among treatments after eight months. Despite better control of competing vegetation, early recruitment and growth responses to burning and cleaning of vegetation in logging gaps do not appear to justify application of these treatments in this forest, especially considering their high costs.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2002-11-01