Resource Details

Identifying fast-growing native trees from the Neotropics using data from a large, permanent census plot

Literature: Journal Articles

Condit, R., Hubbell, S. P. & Fostera, R. B. 1993, "Identifying fast-growing native trees from the Neotropics using data from a large, permanent census plot", Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 62, no. 1-4, pp. 123-143.


o   Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Latin American Program, P.O. Box 2072, Balboa, Panama
o   Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
o   Department of Botany, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL 60605, USA


Forest Ecology and Management

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Species Info

o   Ochroma pyramidale
o   Cavanillesia platanifolia
o   Trema micrantha
o   Zanthoxylum belizense
o   Vocysia ferruginea



o   Collected data over the course of a decade from 160 trees in a 50 ha plot in BCI Panama.
o   Growth in dbh was calculated and a projection (trajectory) was estimated for the life of the tree (using regression).
o   Identifies Ochroma pyramidale, Cavanillesia platanifolia, Trema micrantha, Zanthoxylum belizense, and Vocysia ferruginea as the fastest growing.
o   The fastest growing species reached 10cm dbh in 5-12 yrs, 30cm dbh in 15-25 yrs, and 60cm dbh in 30-45 yrs.
o   This is not quite as fast as plantation species (3-5cm / yr) (but authors remind the reader that this was growth in the forest, not in a plantation).
o   Most of these species are common pioneer trees, and slow in their growth rate after ~ 10 yrs, but some actually increased their growth rate after 10 years (Ocotea puberula).

Geographical Region

  • Southern Central America
  • Ecosystems

  • Tropical Wet Forest
  • Country

  • Panama
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