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Open AccessArticle

Patterns of Density and Production in the Community Forests of the Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico

1
Facultad de Ciencias Forestales, Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango, Río Papaloapan y Boulevard Durango, Durango 34120, Mexico
2
Forest Economics and Sustainable Land-use Planning, Georg-August-Universität, Büsgenweg 5, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
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Instituto de Silvicultura e Industria de la Madera, Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango, Boulevard del Guadiana 501, Durango 34120, Mexico
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Faculty of Forestry and Forest Ecology, Georg-August-Universität, Büsgenweg 5, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
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Department of Forestry and Wood Science, Faculty of AgriSciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa
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Department of Ecology, Beijing Forestry University, Tsinghua East Road 35, Beijing 100083, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(3), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11030307
Received: 26 January 2020 / Revised: 5 March 2020 / Accepted: 8 March 2020 / Published: 11 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
The Mexican Sierra Madre Occidental (SMO) represents a region where hundreds of plant species reach the limits of their northern or southern range. The SMO also features a unique cultural diversity, and many communities living within the forest or in its close vicinity depend on the products and services that these forests provide. Our study was based on a large set of remeasured field plots placed in the forests of Durango which are part of the SMO. Using hierarchical clustering, three distinctly different forest types were identified based on structural differences and the relation between stem density and basal area. Maximum forest densities were estimated using a 0.975th quantile regression. Forest production (expressed as current periodic volume increment per unit of area and time) was estimated based on number of stems, forest density, mean height, and forest diversity. Forest density is the principal factors affecting periodic volume production. The discussion presented recommendations for the sustainable use of this unique natural resource. Maintaining minimum levels of residual density is key to ensuring the continued viability of the forests of the Mexican SMO. Future research is needed to identify optimum residual structures, productive residual densities, and desirable levels of biodiversity. View Full-Text
Keywords: natural forest community; residual density; forest structure natural forest community; residual density; forest structure
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Padilla-Martínez, J.R.; Corral-Rivas, J.J.; Briseño-Reyes, J.; Paul, C.; López-Serrano, P.M.; v. Gadow, K. Patterns of Density and Production in the Community Forests of the Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico. Forests 2020, 11, 307.

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