Growth and provenance variation of Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis as an exotic species

  • GR Hodge
  • WS Dvorak
  • JL Romero


CAMCORE has visited 33 populations of Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Quintana Roo, Mexico. Seed collections have been made in 29 provenances from 1, 325 mother trees. A total of 21 provenances and sources of Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis were tested in 48 provenance / progeny trials in Brazil, South Africa, and Venezuela. Growth rates in Brazil and Venezuela were quite promising, and were less encouraging in Colombia. In Brazil and Venezuela, heights were around 12 m and mean DBH was around 18 cm at age 8. Growth in Colombia was substantially slower, with mean height less than 8 m at age 8, and mean DBH around 13 cm. Assuming 1111 stems / ha with 85% survival, these growth rates correspond approximately to volumes (outside bark) of 14 - 15 m3 of wood/ha/year on sites in Brazil and Venezuela, and 4 - 5 m3 / ha / yr in Colombia. Since these data represent the mean of unimproved material from all provenances, substantially larger values should be expected from selected material from the best provenances planted on suitable sites.

Forking and foxtailing percentages were high in some tests in Brazil and Venezuela. There were generally higher incidences of foxtailing in Venezuela (greater than 25% at ages 5 and 8) than in Brazil (7 to 13% at ages 5 and 8). Forking was more similar, with means around 30% in Brazil and Venezuela.

Provenances had relatively similar growth rankings in the different countries, with a Type B provenance correlation of 0.59. BLUP predictions of provenance effects were made for Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. The best native provenances were Limon (Honduras) and Melinda (Belize), and Guanaja (Honduras) also performed well. Improved sources from Queensland Forest Research Institute (Australia) and South African Forest Research Institute were 6 to 12% better than the mean of the unimproved provenances, depending on the country where they were planted.

Southern African Forestry Journal No.190 2001: 43-52

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2070-2639
print ISSN: 2070-2620