Productivity, aboveground biomass, nutrient uptake and carbon content in fast-growing tree plantations of native and introduced species in the Southern Region of Costa Rica.
Early growth performance of four native and two introduced tree species was studied during six years at 13 sites in the southern region of Costa Rica. Selected study sites represent a wide environmental gradient. The selected species were: Pinus caribaea Morelet var hondurensis (Barret y Golfari) and Gmelina arborea Roxb as the introduced species, and Terminalia amazonia (J.F. Gmelin) Exell, Vochysia ferruginea Mart., Vochysia guatemalensis Donn. Sm. and Hieronyma alchorneoides Fr. Allemao. A study about the distribution of aboveground biomass, nutrients and total carbon content of these young plantations by compartments (branches, stem, bark and leaves) was also conducted. Biomass equations for tree compartments were fitted simultaneously using the data corresponding to 24 trees felled. Total export quantities of nutrient from stem and bark biomass were estimated in order to conduct an evaluation of the potential effect of harvesting these species on soil nutrient reserves. The data presented in this study related to plantation growth, aboveground biomass and nutrient concentration and C content by tree compartment, aboveground biomass equations by tree compartment, soil nutrient reserves, stability indices can be used as a reference for: (a) selection of tree species vs site characteristics, (b) estimation of nutrient export by stem+bark harvesting, (c) planning for a second rotation, (d) maintenance of site productivity and (e) generate better carbon sequestration estimations.