Growth of big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla King) in natural forests in Belize

Growth of big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla King) in natural forests in Belize

Four years of annual diameter measurements of 75 big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia
macrophylla King) trees in natural forests in northwestern Belize were analyzed to
determine growth rates. Mean diameter increment among the sample trees exceeded
1 cm y-1, with slightly higher growth rates among trees > 50 cm dbh. Inter-individual
variation in growth rates was significant, with the fastest-growing individuals growing at
rates greater than 2 cm y-1. Inter-annual variation in growth rates was also significant,
and diameter growth of 1.21 ±± 0.1 cm during a wetter year (1456 mm ppt) exceeded
by 75% diameter growth of 0.69 ±± 0.1 cm during a drier year (1181 mm ppt). The
growth of these sample trees reveals that mahogany trees as small as 23 cm dbh that
are left standing after harvests can be expected to attain the commercial diameter of
60 cm during the 40 years between cutting cycles.

Authors: Shono, K.; Snook, L.K.

Topic: Swietenia macrophylla,harvesting,forest management,sustainability,regeneration,growth,natural forests,forest management,silviculture,tropical forests,volume

Geographic: Belize,Latin America

Publication Year: 2004

Source: Tropical Resources 23: 23-30


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