Resource Details

Environmental Services of Native Tree Plantations and Agroforestry Systems in Central America

Literature: Journal Articles

Montagnini, F., Cusack, D., Petit, B., & Kanninen, M. 2004, "Environmental Services of Native Tree Plantations and Agroforestry Systems in Central America", Journal of Sustainable Forestry, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 51-67.

Contact Info

Corresponding Author:


  • Practice of Tropical Forestry, Yale University, School of Forestryand Environmental Studies, 70 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA
  • University of California-Berkeley, Environmental Science, Policy and Management, 151 Hilgard Hall, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA
  • San Diego County/Forester, USDA, Natural Resources, Conservation Service, Southern California Watershed Recovery Program, 332 South Juniper Street, NRCS, #110, Escondido, CA, 92026, USA
  • Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Jalan CIFOR, Situ Cede, Sindangbarang, Bogor Barat, 16680, Indonesia


Journal of Sustainable Forestry

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Species Info

  • Jacaranda copaia
  • Vochysia guatemalensis
  • Calophyllum brasiliense
  • Stryphnodendron microstachyum
  • Terminalia amazonia
  • Dipteryx panamensis
  • Virola koschnyi
  • Paraserianthes guachapele
  • Hieronyma alchorneoides
  • Balizia elegans
  • Genipa Americana
  • Vochysia ferruginea


  • The results from experimental native tree plantations in Costa Rica are presented, including measurements of growth in both mixed and single-species plantations, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity recuperation.
  • The authors found a preference of local farmers for native species grown in mixed plantations, which may reduce market risk and also diminish the possibility of pathogen attacks. 
  • To measure growth in mixed and single-species plantations, twelve different native species were planted on three different plantations, with four species planted per plantation.
  • Within each plantation, species were planted in completely randomized blocks with 4 replications and 5 treatments: 4 pure-species plots per species and 1 mixed-species plot with all four species.
  • In general, the mixed-species plots had a higher total productivity and increased biodiversity recuperation than the single-species plots.
  • Because mixed-species plantations produce harvestable wood at different rotations times, they make it more likely that the land will remain under forest cover for a longer period of time than the plantation of a single species with a short rotation time.
  • From measurements of biomass, taken at ten years after plantation establishment, biomass accumulation and carbon sequestration were calculated, and the following four species were found to have the largest accumulation of biomass: D. panamensis, T. Amazonia,V. guatemalensis, and H. alchorneoides.
  • A brief summary of payment for environmental services (PES) in Costa Rica is given, with some analysis of its viability as a mechanism for incentivizing reforestation.
  • At the time of writing (2204) the demand for payment of environmental services was much higher than available funding.
  • The authors encourage the use of government incentives and other PES for promoting the restoration degraded forest lands.

Geographical Region

  • Southern Central America
  • Country

  • Costa Rica
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