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Revista Chapingo. Serie ciencias forestales y del ambiente

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MENDOZA- ARROYO, Gustavo Enrique; NAVARRO-MARTINEZ, Angélica; OCHOA-GAONA, Susana  and  WAL, Hans van der. Arboreal architecture and development of Guaiacum sanctum L. in Balam-kin, Campeche, Mexico. Rev. Chapingo [online]. 2011, vol.17, n.2, pp.215-224. ISSN 0186-3231.

Guaiacum sanctum (guayacan) is a characteristic species of dry tropical forests. Owing to the properties of its wood, it has been harvested from its natural habitat for more than 100 years. At present, it is considered to be at risk of extinction and is protected by its listing in Appendix II of CITES. In spite of its economic importance, existing information about this species is limited. In Balam-kin, within the Calakmul region of Campeche, G. sanctum is protected where it occurs at high abundances in patches known as guayacan forests. In order to broaden our knowledge of the ecology and dynamics of the forests where this species occurs, an architectural analysis of the vegetation was conducted in low height semi-deciduous tropical forests of Balam-kin. We established 40 systematically located plots, and where G. sanctum occurred vegetation was sampled along transects within these plots, one per plot. The majority of the area was occupied by eco-units in phases of aggradation and biostasis. Typical species found in the biostasis eco-units included G. sanctum and Thouinia paucidentata, while the aggradation phase was dominated by Gymnopodium floribundum. G. sanctum was found in all architectural phases. Our understanding of forest development allowed us to elaborate a hypothetical model of post-harvesting forest dynamics. Information about the mosaic of eco-units within a forest offers a useful tool that should be incorporated in decision-making related to harvesting and forest management.

Keywords : Eco-units; guayacan; logging; regeneration; tropical dry forest.

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