Resource Details

Responses of transplanted native tree species to invasive alien grass removals in an abandoned cattle pasture in the Lacandon region, Mexico

Literature: Journal Articles Available at NO COST

Román-Dañobeytia, F. J., Castellanos-Albores, J., Levy-Tacher, S. I., Aronson, J., Ramírez-Marcial, N., Rodrigues , R. R., 2012, "Responses of 16 transplanted early-, mid-, and late-successional native tree species to invasive alien grass removals in an abandoned cattle pasture in the Lacandon region, Mexico", Tropical Conservation Science, vol. 5, no.2, pp.192-207.

Contact Info



  • El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, ECOSUR, Carretera Panamericana y Periférico Sur s/n, C.P. 29290, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México. Current Address: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, P.O. Box 0843-03092, Balboa, Ancón, Panamá.
  • Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CNRS-U.M.R. 5175), 1919, Route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier, France.
  • Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd., P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299, U.S.A.
  • Laboratório de Ecologia e Restauração Florestal, LCB/ESALQ, Universidade de São Paulo, Avenida Pádua Dias 11, P.O. Box 9, CEP 13.418-900 Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil.


Available at no cost

Species Info

  • Cynodon plectostachyus (invasive grass)
  • Guazuma ulmifolia
  • Lonchocarpus guatemalensis
  • Muntingia calabura
  • Ochroma pyramidale
  • Acacia mayana
  • Cedrela odorata
  • Erythrina folkersii
  • Pachira aquatica
  • Sapindus saponaria
  • Spondias mombin
  • Tabebuia rosea
  • Acacia sp.
  • Annona sp.
  • Cojoba arborea
  • Poulsenia armata
  • Pouteria sapota


  • This study measures the response of 16 native tree species to manual invasive grass removal treatments, for cost-effective regeneration of tropical forest on abandoned cattle pasture in the Lacandon region of Chiapas, southeast Mexico. 
  • Tree species selected for use in the study were considered of ethnobotanical interest or commercial use, to provide ecosystem services and forest goods, and grouped by early-successional, mid-successional, and late-successional species in order to incorporate a diversity of "functional groups" to either promote fast soil coverage and immedate conditions improvement, or long-term development and self-maintenance of forest structure, facing competition with the grass Cynodon plectostachyus.
  • By measuring the performance of seedlings during first 18 months after planting, the study indicates some species' high response to fewer grass removal treatments, while others required further grass removal in order to improve survivorship and aboveground biomass increase. 
  • Grass removals generally improved the sapling performance of a range of native tropical tree species and greatly reduced C. plectostachyus dominance even if it did not lead to eradication.
  • The authors include a risk analysis, indicating the relatively low risk and high success of utilizing early-successional species to overtop C. plectostachyus, but they emphasize the need to include late-successional species in restoration plantings for long-term ecosystem functioning.
  • The study also recorded operational costs, materials, and labor requirements for each of the three treatment levels applied, to determine cost-effectiveness of aided regeneration given limitations on management funds.


  • Mexico
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