Resource Details

The Structure and Composition of a Tropical Dry Forest Landscape After Land Clearance; Azuero Peninsula, Panama

Literature: Journal Articles

Griscom, H.P., Connelly, A.B., Ashton, M.S., Wishnie, M.H, & Deago, J. 2011, "The Structure and Composition of a Tropical Dry Forest Landscape After Land Clearance; Azuero Peninsula, Panama" Journal of Sustainable Forestry, vol. 30, no. 8, pp. 756-774.

Contact Info

Corresponding Author:


  • Biology Department, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA
  • Independent Evaluation Group, The World Bank, Washington, DC, USA
  • Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  • Equator, LLC, New York, New York, USA
  • Native Species Reforestation Project (PRORENA), Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa, Ancon, Panama


Journal of Sustainable Forestry

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Species Info

  • Acacia collinsii
  • Albizia adinocephala
  • Albizia guachapele
  • Allophyllus psilospermus
  • Annona purpurea
  • Apeiba tibourbou
  • Astronium graveolens
  • Bauhinia sp.
  • Bursera simaruba
  • Byrsonima crassifolia
  • Calycophyllum candidissimum
  • Cecropia peltata
  • Cedrela odorata
  • Ceiba pentandra
  • Chlorophora tinctoria
  • Chomelia spinosa
  • Coccoloba laseri
  • Cochlospermum vitifolium
  • Cojoba rufescens
  • Cordia alliodora
  • Cordia panamensis
  • Dalbergia retusa
  • Diphysa robinioides
  • Enterolobium cyclocarpum
  • Erythroxyllum sp.
  • Eugenia coloradoensis
  • Genipa americana
  • Guazuma ulmifolia
  • Hura crepitans
  • Licania arborea
  • Lonchocarpus felipei
  • Lonchocarpus velutinus
  • Luehea speciosa
  • Machaerium microphyllum
  • Manilkara achras
  • Pachira quinata
  • Platymiscium pinnatum
  • Pouteria campechiana
  • Sapium glandulosum
  • Sciadodendron excelsum
  • Spondias mombin
  • Sterculia apetala
  • Swartzia simplex
  • Tabebuia guayacan
  • Tabebuia rosea


  • This article describes the natural regeneration that has occured in five different habitat types in the Azuero Peninsula of Panama: active pasture, 2-yr abandoned pasture, 5-yr abandoned pasture, forest riparian zones, and a secondary forest fragment.
  • This region is characterized by agricultural and cattle ranching landcapes in areas that previously were tropical dry forest (1700 mm rainfall per year) until the mid-20th century and have recently been undergoing rapid turnover in land ownership.
  • For each of the five habitat types, trees were inventoried and the 20 most common species were monitored for their phenology.
  • Additionally, semi-structured interviews were conducted with farmers and landowners in the area in order to determine the common uses of trees in farms and rationale for keeping trees on the landscape.
  • Species were assigned importance values based on indicies  related to the relative density, relative frequency, and relative basal area.
  • The species with the highest importance values were Calycophyllum candidissimum and Tabebuia rosea for secondary forest, Guazuma ulmifolia and Hura crepitans for riparian forest, Guazuma ulmifolia and Cordia alliodora for active pasture, and Guazuma ulmifolia for the abandoned pasture.
  • Based on the interviews, 76% of the trees found in the pasture inventories had uses recognized by local farmers, including shade for cattle (most important), timber value, live fence posts, fodder, edible fruit, medicine, and fish poison.
  • The authors suggest that recently abandoned pastures, dominated mostly by Guazuma ulmifolia, will likely require more intensive restoration to accelerate forest succession, including techniques such as enrichment planting with fruit trees, direct seeding, and planting native species.

Related Publications and Projects

Geographical Region

  • Southern Central America
  • Country

  • Panama
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