Growth, Development, and Yield in Pure and Mixed Stands of Eucalyptus and Albizia

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Abstract:

Productivity of Eucalyptus saligna Sm. plantations is commonly limited by low levels of available nitrogen (N), and synthetic N fertilizer applications are costly and sometimes impractical; thus, we evaluated mixed species plantings in which N is added by Albizia falcataria (L.) Fosberg [=Paraserianthes falcataria (L.) Nielson]. Five ratios of Eucalyptus and Albizia were compared with each other, with pure Albizia, and with pure Eucalyptus fertilized periodically with N in a randomized block design on the wet Hamakua coast of the Island of Hawaii. Eucalyptus growth increased as the amount of Albizia in the stand increased from 11 to 66%, and heights and diameters of Eucalyptus in stands containing 34% or more Albizia were equal to or larger than those in fertilized, pure stands. Total aboveground biomass, stem biomass, and stem volume per ha of mixed stands at age 10 were at least equal to yields produced in fertilized, pure Eucalyptus stands; total biomass of mixed stands with 50 or 66% Albizia was 30 and 46% greater than that in fertilized, pure Eucalyptus and 10 and 24% greater than that of pure Albizia. Yield of the Eucalyptus component alone in these two mixtures was at least equal to that of fertilized, pure Eucalyptus stands. Moreover, mean annual increment declined more slowly after culmination in all-mixed stands than in the fertilized, pure Eucalyptus stand. Over time, the apparent benefits of mixed versus pure plantings of Eucalyptus and Albizia have increased, and at age 10 include diversity in stand structure (and habitat) as well as the improvements in Eucalyptus tree growth and stand productivity recognized at younger ages. For. Sci. 43(2):286-298.

Keywords: Paraserianthes; biomass; silviculture; species mixtures; stand dynamics; tropical forestry

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Supervisory Research Forester (retired), USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Honolulu, HI 96813

Publication date: May 1, 1997

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