Resource Details

Colombia: Dry Montane Dwarf Tropical Forest Restoration

Literature: Dissertations and Theses

Groenendijk, J. P. 2005. Towards recovery of native dry forest in the Colombian Andes: a plantation experiment for ecological restoration. Universiteit van Amsterdam, IBED.


  • Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED), University of Amsterdam
  • Corporación Autónoma Regional de Cundinamarca


SER case study

Species Info

  • Dodonaea viscosa
  • Baccharis macrantha
  • Dalea coerulea
  • Hesperomeles goudotiana
  • Myrsine guianensis
  • Xylosma spiculifera
  • Croton bogotanus
  • Condalia thomasiana
  • Duranta mutisii


  • This study evaluated native tree plantings in the Checua valley near Bogota, Colombia. The study area is a mosaic landscape of grassland, scrubs, planted exotic forest, and fragments of dwarf forest.
  • Baccharis macrantha, Dodonaea viscosa and Dalea coerulea were classified as pioneers, and Condalia thomasiana, Croton bogotanus, Duranta mutisii, Hesperomeles goudotiana, Myrsine guianensis and Xylosma spiculifera as late-successional species. 
  • Three vegetation types were selected for planting: two types of abandoned pasture, and a scrub type representing the least developed, low-stature woody stage.
  • Greenhouse-grown seedlings were planted in two types of abandoned pasture, and a natural scrub vegetation type. A total of 80 experimental plots (10m x 15m) were laid out for the experimental setup. Every plantation plot had 189 individuals planted at 1 meter’s distance, in a regular triangular pattern. Seedlings were derived from seeds collected on site and produced in nurseries owned by the Corporación Autónoma Regional de Cundinamarca (CAR). Plants received applications of fertilizers and fungicides on a regular basis during the production and maintenance period in the nurseries. At the time of planting in the field, the seedlings were in 707 cubic cm nursery bags. D. coerulea was grown in bags with a volume of 2389 cubic cm.
  • Dodonaea viscosa seedlings had 90% survival in pasture plots. Myrsine guianensis performed the worst in terms of survival, the percentage surviving seedlings mostly remaining below 35%. Pioneers (B. macrantha and D. viscosa) had higher survival in pasture than in the shrubland. After four years, pioneer species mostly reached a height between 50 and 100 cm; Dalea coerulea often above 120 cm. Late-successional species grew poorly.
  • The commonly planted exotic Acacia decurrens invaded five shrubland plots. In dry pasture plots, among the species mostly increasing their cover over time were the grasses Botriochloa saccharoides, Aristida laxa, Sporobolus indicus, and Pennisetum clandestinum.
  • Researchers suggest night frost and drought may have caused excessive mortality in planted species. The only effect measured in planted plots that did not occur in control plots was an increase in herbaceous cover. 

Geographical Region

  • Andean Region
  • Country

  • Colombia
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    ELTI is a joint initiative of:
    Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute