Dimensions, volumes and growth of Cordia alliodora in agroforestry systems
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In Central America, combinations of the timber tree laurel (Cordia alliodora (R & P) Oken) with coffee (Coffea arabica L.), cacao (Teobroma cacao L.) or pastures, are amongst the best examples of traditional agroforestry. Growth data, taken annually for 5-8 years in twelve permanent agroforestry sample plots, together with annual ring counts of basal discs and stem volume measurements of felled C. alliodora, were analyzed to determine whether the factors of site and associated crop affect laurel growth rates as well as the following relationships: (D) diameter at breast height/total height (H) D-age (A). These two factors had no influence on the D-H relationship. The permanent plot measurements indicated that D growth rates increased in the order: pasture sugar cane (Saccharum cvs L.) coffee caco but the ring growth analysis did not detect any significant differences. On average, predicted growth rates are 3 cm/year to age 5,2 cm/year between ages 5 and 10, and a D of 55 cm after 34 years, which was calculated to be the optimal biological rotation. The real commercial volume (VCR) obtained by farmers is only 64 per cent of the total overbark stem volume (V), but if silviculture were improved the VCR could be considerable increased. A predictive equation for V is presented as well as the average form factors for V (0.425) and VCR (0.272). Considering the average C. alliodora densities reported in this study (68-290 trees/ha), a 34-year rotation would give a V of 298-690 m3/ha and a VCR of 191-442 m3/ha.