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In the Andes of Chile, two valuable Nothofagus tree species coexist (Nothofagus dombeyi (Mirb.) Oerst. and Nothofagus nervosa (Phil.) Krasser). They could provide an opportunity for mixed plantations because of their ecological differences. In a mixed plantation
with a checkerboard design on a good site where the two species naturally coexist, we evaluated their performance according to aspect and type of competition. Nothofagus dombeyi had a greater survivorship (90% vs. 65%) and growth (twice in diameter and 20% greater in height). Forking
was significantly lower in N. nervosa (23% vs. 70%). Aspect did not significantly affect the performance of N. dombeyi. The north aspect had a significant negative effect on survivorship of N. nervosa, but aspect did not significantly affect growth or forking of this species.
The aspect – type of competition interaction was only significant for N. nervosa in diameter and marginally significant in height. The checkerboard design allowed for a clear separation of interspecific and intraspecific competition in this mixed plantation. Interspecific
competition favored growth of N. nervosa on the north aspect (facilitation) and was detrimental to N. nervosa on the south aspect (competition). These results have a direct application when planting mixtures of species of complementary ecological characteristics that can
increase the value of the plantation.
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