Effect of tree spacing on growth and wood density of 38-year-old Cariniana legalis trees in Brazil
Average wood density of 38-year-old Cariniana legalis (Mart.) Kuntze, a Brazilian native forest species, was found to increase with faster growth and lower stocking, while decreasing from pith to bark. A complete randomised block design was planted with five blocks. Ten trees were harvested in each of three spacing treatments. We hypothesised that the stand stemwood production would not significantly differ depending on tree spacing. However, tree growth would be higher in the wider spacing and wood density would be higher in the narrower spacing. The diameter growth of trees was higher at 3 m × 2.5 m than at 3 m × 2 m and 3 m × 1.5 m. Nevertheless, this higher individual tree growth at 3 m × 2.5 m did not compensate for the greater tree stock density at 3 m × 1.5 m with stand stemwood production at 38 years of 530 m3 ha−1 and 649 m3 ha−1, respectively. These results suggest that C. legalis, which can produce up to 17 m3 ha−1 y−1 of medium- to high-density timber – about 800 kg m−3 – is a promising native species for forest plantations in Brazil.
Keywords: Brazilian native wood, management of tropical timber, X -ray densitometry