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Effects of aspect and type of competition on the early performance of Nothofagus dombeyi and Nothofagus nervosa in a mixed plantation

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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.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 19, 2011

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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