Resource Details

Establishment and Growth of Living Fence Species: An Overlooked Tool for the Restoration of Degraded Areas in the Tropics

Literature: Journal Articles Available at NO COST

Zahawi, R.A., 2005, "Establishment and Growth of Living Fence Species: An Overlooked Tool for the Restoration of Degraded Areas in the Tropics", Restoration Ecology, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 92-102.

Contact Info

Corresponding Author:


  • Department of Plant Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 505 South Goodwin, Urbana, IL 61801, U.S.A.


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Species Info

  • Gliricidia sepium
  • Erythrina berteroana
  • Erythrina fusca
  • Jatropha curcas
  • Spondias mombin
  • Spathodea campanulata
  • Dendropanax arboreus
  • Salix humboldtiana
  • Lonchocarpus lasiotropis
  • Dalbergia glomerata
  • Bursera simaruba


  • This article describes three studies conducted in Honduras which examined the potential of using living fence species in restoration.
  • The first study examined the establishment and survival of 11 species, the second study tested the ability of two species from the first study (G. sepium and B. simaruba) to establish and develop canopy cover at three deforested sites, while the third study looked at at the impact of the initial cutting height and diameter at breast height (dbh) on the development of G. sepium.
  • From the first study, four species were found to have high initial establishment and survival (G. sepium, E. berteroana, J. curcas , and E. fusca); both Lonchocarpus lasiotropis and D. glomerata failed to establish. 
  • In the second study, G. sepium showed higher survival rates at all three sites (>90%), while B. simaruba had low survival rates at all three sites (30-50%).
  • Cover also differed significantly between the two species, as it developed much faster and was consistently higer for G. sepium.
  • For the third study, cuttings were planted at two sites at the beginning of the dry season and exhibited 100% establishment and survival; however, at the third site, cuttings were planted at the beginning of the rainy season and exhibited different rates of survival based on initial stake height and dbh.
  • Cuttings planted at the third site showed that both shorter cuttings and cuttings with a smaller dbh had lower survival rates.
  • The author recommends using living fence species, which may be planted as cuttings, as a possible lower cost restoration tool.


  • Honduras
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