Resource Details

Local and regional environmental variation influences the growth of tropical trees in selection trials in the Republic of Panama

Literature: Journal Articles

Park, A., van Breugel, M., Ashton, M.S., Wishnie, M., Mariscal, E., Deago, J., Ibarra, D., Cedeno, N., & Hall, J.S. 2010, "Local and regional environmental variation influences the growth of tropical trees in selection trials in the Republic of Panama", Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 260, no. 1, pp. 12-21.

Contact Info

Corresponding Author:


  • Department of Biology and Centre for Forest Interdisciplinary Research (CFIR), University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3B 2E9
  • PRORENA, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, 401 Ave Roosevelt, Balboa Ancon, Panama
  • Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Sage Hall, 205 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511, USA


Forest Ecology & Management

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Species Info

  • Acacia mangium (exotic)
  • Albizia adinocephala
  • Albizia guachapele
  • Astronium graveolens
  • Calycophyllum candidissimum
  • Cedrela odorata
  • Colubrina glandulosa
  • Copaifera aromatica
  • Dipteryx panamensis
  • Enterolobium cyclocarpum
  • Erythrina fusca
  • Gliricidia sepium
  • Guazuma ulmifolia
  • Inga punctata
  • Luehea seemannii
  • Ochroma pyramidale
  • Pachira quinata
  • Samanea saman
  • Spondias mombin
  • Tabebuia rosea
  • Tectona grandis (exotic)
  • Terminalia amazonia


  • This study evaluated the effect of varying site conditions on the basal area of 21 neotropical and 2 exotic tree species at three different sites in Panama.
  • Of the three sites, two sites were considered seasonally wet (however one was more dry than the other), and one was considered dry forest.
  • Seedlings were planted in 2003 in randomized blocks and measured for basal diameter, height, live crown length, and crown diameter each year from 2004 to 2006.
  • For almost all of the species, basal area was significantly higher at the seasonally wet sites than at the driest site.
  • The authors describe that Acacia mangium (exotic), Ochroma pyramidale, Erythrina fusca, Pachira quinata and Gliricidium sepium had the highest BA at all three sites (with different orders at different sites).
  • The species with the lowest BA were Albizzia adinocephala, Astronium graveolens, Cordia alliodora, Copaifera aromatica, Dipteryx panamensis and Terminalia amazonia.
  • The authors continue to describe responses of the species to within and between site differences in environmental conditions.
  • They recommend that in addition to the site differences (three different climates), the within site differences to percent slope, shallow mineral soil texture, rockiness, and Munsell-value also had significant effects on tree size.
  • Because at the driest site, only the nitrogen fixing exotic Acacia mangium demonstrated consistently high growth rates, the authors describe that this exotic species may need to be used as a nurse tree before slower growing native species will establish.
  • However, because A. mangium can be highly invasive on some sites, the authors suggest that it be planted as part of an intimate mixture with O. pyramidale, G. sepium, and possibly P. quinata and Guazuma ulmifolia and harvested early in the plantation after other trees have established.

Related Publications and Projects

Geographical Region

  • Southern Central America
  • Country

  • Panama
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