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Title: Red oak in southern New England and big-leaf mahogany in the Yucatan Peninsula: can mixed-species forests be sustainably managed for single-species production?

Author: Kelty, M.; Camara-Cabrales, L.; Grogan, J.;

Date: 2011

Source: Journal of Sustainable Forestry. 30: 637-653.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Complex mixed-species forests are the focus of conservation efforts that seek to maintain native biodiversity. However, much of this forestland is privately owned and is managed for timber income as well as for conservation. Management of these high-diversity forests is particularly difficult when only one tree species produces the majority of high-value timber. We examined the past and current management of two regions which have those characteristics: Massachusetts, USA, with red oak (Quercus rubra L.) as the key timber species, and Quintana Roo, Mexico, with big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla King) as the most valuable species. These regions have different ecological characteristics, forest ownership types, landowner income, and importance of timber in total income, yet the silvicultural approach (low-intensity selective cutting) is surprisingly similar, and is generally failing to provide the conditions needed for regeneration and growth of key species. In both situations, the reluctance to harvest low-value species and interest in minimizing forest disturbance complicates management. Successful balance of timber harvest and forest conservation may be an important factor in preventing conversion of these lands to agriculture or residential development, but socioeconomic conditions (property tax policies and landowner affluence) play an important part in the outcome.

Keywords: Mexico, Quercus rubra, reduced impact logging, silviculture, sustainable forest management, Swietenia macrophylla

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

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Kelty, M.; Camara-Cabrales, L.; Grogan, J. 2011. Red oak in southern New England and big-leaf mahogany in the Yucatan Peninsula: can mixed-species forests be sustainably managed for single-species production? Journal of Sustainable Forestry. 30: 637-653.

 


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