Identification and initial growth of forest species used for curing Virginia tobacco.
In Colombia, Virginia tobacco producers (Nicotiana tabacum L.) use artisan kilns based on the combustion of firewood and charcoal for the curing of the leaves. This study aimed to mitigate the threat of deforestation by identifying which forest species are used and quantifying their gross combustion heat (CCB) from samples collected at the sites of usage, at a first stage. Afterwards, in a second phase, the initial growth of eight native and exotic species were evaluated, establishing two experiments in the municipalities of Soata (Boyacá), Enciso and San José de Miranda (Santander). The experimental design used was of randomized complete blocks with three replicates (species as treatments). As a result, Eucalyptus sp. (57%), Pithecellobium dulce (48%), Escallonia pendula (12%) and Manclure tinctoria (9%) were the most used species. As for CCB, E. pendula (18.8 MJ kg-1) had the highest value, while Citrus sinensis (12.5 MJ kg-1) had the lowest value. After 150 days of establishment, E. grandis and E. globulus had a larger diameter of stem (13.7 mm) and height (132.2 cm), while Pithecellobium dulce and Pseudosamanea guachapele were the lowest, with 6.5 mm and 40.9 cm each one. Findings shows a higher growth of the exotic species for the three localities. Furthermore, around 20 multipurpose species showed a great variation in their caloric value.