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Soil properties and seedling establishment in soils from monodominant and high‐diversity stands of the tropical deciduous forests of México

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Abstract. The hypothesis that soils from mature monodominant forests are unfavourable for establishment of tree species other than the dominant was tested for a lowland tropical deciduous forest with stands dominated by Celaenodendron mexicanum Standl. (CS). This species of Euphorbiaceae occurs almost exclusively in monodominant stands in which recruitment of other species appears to be poor. Soil properties were examined and experiments were conducted on germination and establishment of Celaenodendron mexicanum and three other species common in adjacent high‐diversity mixed stands (MS): Recchia mexicana Moc. & Sessé, Caesalpinia eriostachys Benth., and Cordia alliodora (Ruiz & Pav.) Oken. Soil moisture regimes are affected by topographic position in the study area, but Celaenodendron mexicanum was found occupying hillsides as well as flatlands, and slope gradients of its stands were typical of the region. The microsites occupied in relation to soil moisture and light availability also appear to be undistinctive. There were no significant differences between stand types in any soil property (pH, O.C., total N, total P, avail. P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn concentrations). A stand of intermediate dominance of Celaenodendron (ICS) did not differ from its adjacent mixed stand (MS) in soil texture or most of the nutrients tested; however, seasonally restricted differences in the contents of Fe and Mn (ICS
Germination percentages and seedling survival to 4 months did not differ between CS and MS soils in greenhouse tests, and in field tests Caesalpinia eriostachys established in both stand types.

The results suggest that the distinction between monodominance and high diversity is not maintained by some simple physiological restriction on the establishment of new seedlings.
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Language: English

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Centro de Ecologia y Recursos Naturales Renovables, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina, and *Centro de Investigación Cientifica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada, Apartado Postal 2732, 22800 Ensenada, Baja California, México

Publication date: July 1, 1998

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