Natural Regeneration after Long-Term Bracken Fern Control with Balsa (Ochroma pyramidale) in the Neotropics
AbstractIn many parts of the Neotropics, deforested areas are often colonized by the highly competitive invasive bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum), which inhabits naturally regenerated forests and successional forests on abandoned farmland. Within the tropical forest region of Chiapas in southern Mexico, we implemented an experiment in 2005 to out-compete bracken fern infestation and reduce or eliminate live bracken rhizomes using several treatments: Direct sowing of balsa seeds (Ochroma pyramidale; Malvaceae), a traditional Lacandon treatment of scattering balsa seeds, transplanting balsa seedlings, and a control treatment (without balsa). For each treatment, we applied three different bracken weeding frequencies: No weeding, biweekly weeding, and monthly weeding. In this study, we present data gathered four years after establishing the experiment regarding: Bracken fern rhizome biomass, balsa density, basal area, height, density, species richness of naturally regenerating vegetation for all treatments, and bracken weeding frequencies. We also evaluated the importance of balsa and its regenerative attributes in controlling bracken fern by correlating it with remaining belowground live rhizome biomass. Living rhizome biomass was completely eradicated in all treatments with biweekly and monthly weeding. Density and species richness of a naturally regenerated species were negatively correlated with bracken fern rhizome biomass, and the density of this species was highest in areas with no rhizome biomass. Although balsa tree stands are effective short-term solutions for controlling rhizome biomass, the success of natural regeneration following balsa establishment can be critical to long-term elimination of bracken fern. View Full-Text
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Levy-Tacher, S.I.; Vleut, I.; Román-Dañobeytia, F.; Aronson, J. Natural Regeneration after Long-Term Bracken Fern Control with Balsa (Ochroma pyramidale) in the Neotropics. Forests 2015, 6, 2163-2177.
Levy-Tacher SI, Vleut I, Román-Dañobeytia F, Aronson J. Natural Regeneration after Long-Term Bracken Fern Control with Balsa (Ochroma pyramidale) in the Neotropics. Forests. 2015; 6(6):2163-2177.Chicago/Turabian Style
Levy-Tacher, Samuel I.; Vleut, Ivar; Román-Dañobeytia, Francisco; Aronson, James. 2015. "Natural Regeneration after Long-Term Bracken Fern Control with Balsa (Ochroma pyramidale) in the Neotropics." Forests 6, no. 6: 2163-2177.