Resource Details

The role of native species plantations in recovery of understory woody diversity in degraded pasturelands of Costa Rica

Literature: Journal Articles Available at NO COST

Cusack, D. & Montagnini, F. 2004, "The role of native species plantations in recovery of understory woody diversity in degraded pasturelands of Costa Rica", Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 188, no. 1-3, pp. 1-15.

Contact Info

Corresponding Author:


  • School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, 370 Prospect St., New Haven, CT 06511, USA


University of California Berkeley

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Species Info

  • Hieronyma alchorneoides
  • Terminalia amazonia
  • Virola koschnyi
  • Vochysia ferruginea
  • Vochysia guatemalensis


  • The 6 species were evaluated in an experimental plantation at La Selva Biological Station, two other plantations established by local landowners (Paniagua and Quesada), and a control site of abandoned pasture.
  • All plots had more regeneration than the control.
  • At La Selva, plantations of Calophyllum brasiliense and Vochysia guatemalensis had the highest number of regenerating individuals (75,581 and 69,219 individuals/ha).
  • At the Panaigua plantation, Terminalia amazonia had higher understory regeneration (16,250 individuals/ha).
  • At the Quesada plantation, Vochysia ferruginea had the highest understory regeneration (29,219 individuals/ha). For understory diversity, the most individuals belonged to the Melastomaceae, Piperaceae, Nyctaginaceae, and Rubiaceae families.
  • Plantations of Virola koschnyi had the greatest richness across sites.
  • Terminalia amazonia had the most rare species. There were no linear relationships between understory abundance and canopy openness nor abundance and leaf litter biomass.
  • The authors assert that unlike other studies, the result of this study does not present one species that was much more successful than the others.
  • Nevertheless, they suggest that stands of V. guatemalensis, T. amazonia, and V. ferruginea harbored enough regeneration abundance and diversity to be good for ecological reforestation in the region.

Related Publications and Projects

Geographical Region

  • Southern Central America
  • Ecosystems

  • Tropical Wet Forest
  • Country

  • Costa Rica
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