Resource Details

The effect of a teak (Tectona grandis) plantation on the establishment of native species in an abandoned pasture in Costa Rica

Literature: Journal Articles

Healey, S.P., & Gara, R.I. 2003, "The effect of a teak (Tectona grandis) plantation on the establishment of native species in an abandoned pasture in Costa Rica", Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 176, n. 1-3, pp. 497-507.

Contact Info

Corresponding Author:


  • Forestry Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service, 3200 SW Jeffersion Way, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
  • College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Box 352100 Seattle, WA 98195-2100, USA


Forest Ecoloy & Management

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Species Info

  • Tectona grandis


  • This study compares native tree species recruitment in the understory of a 10-year-old teak plantation in premontane wet forest in Costa Rica to the native tree species recruitment on nearby abandoned agricultural land.
  • The data was taken from 42 transect plots in both sites and included the species, location, and height of all woody species as well as the percent crown closure.
  • The diversity of the regeneration in the two sites was calculated using Simpson’s index of biodiversity and Fisher’s index of alpha diversity.
  • The density of woody recruits was found to be much higher in the transects of the abandoned pasture.
  • Nearly all (89.9%) of the native species recruits in the teak plantation were within the lowest height class, while about half (51.4%) of native recruits in the abandoned pasture were within the lowest height class. 
  • Within the teak plantation, the taller height classes were almost exclusively dominated by teak.
  • Species diversity was calculated to be much higher in the abandoned pasture as well; 61 tree species in 31 families were identified in the abandoned pasture, compared to 26 species and 14 families in the plantation.
  • The set of species identified in the teak plantation was dominated by trees with shrubby growth forms while larger monopodial trees were more common in the pasture.
  • Crown closure in both sites was found to be similar.
  • The authors conclude that teak impedes native tree species recruitment and, thus, has little secondary value as a nurse crop for incoming native seedlings.

Geographical Region

  • Southern Central America
  • Ecosystems

  • Tropical Wet Forest
  • Country

  • Costa Rica
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