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versión On-line ISSN 2521-9766versión impresa ISSN 1405-3195

Agrociencia vol.50 no.1 Texcoco ene./feb. 2016


Natural Renewable Resources

Growth of Schizolobium parahyba var. amazonicum cropping in presence of Ananas comosus var. erectifolius in para state, Brazil

I. Maria Castro-Coimbra Cordeiro1  * 

Moises Cordeiro Mourão-de Oliveira Junior2 

Aderaldo Batista Gazel-Filho

P. Luiz Contente-de Barros1 

Osmar Alves Lameira2 

Francisco de Assis Oliveira1 

1Universidade Federal Rural da Amazônia-UFRA, Belém, Pará, Brasil. (iracema3c@gmail. com), (, (

2Embrapa Amazônia Oriental. Brasil. (, (, (


The increase in environmental disturbance and global pressure to preserve the Amazon rainforest have encouraged the cultivation of native species. With the objective of evaluating the growth of Schizolobium parahyba var. amazonicum (Huber ex Ducke) barneby cultivated in the presence of agricultural components such as Ananas comosus var. erectifolius, we conducted this study in the Experimental Station of the company Tramontina Belem S.A., located in the City of Aurora do Pará (PA), Brazil. The experimental design was a factorial randomized complete blocks with plots split over time, so that the arrangements comprising the treatments of the plots and subplots were the observation time with six treatments and four repetitions: 1) S. parahyba var. amazonicum, Switenia macrophylla and Cordia goeldiana: GLC; 2) S. parahyba var. amazonicum, C. goeldiana, S. macrophylla and A. comosus var. erectifolius: GLCc; 3) S. parahyba var. amazonicum and C. goeldiana: GL; 4) S. parahyba var. amazonicum, C. goeldiana and A.comosus var. erectifolius: GLCc; 5) S. parahyba var. amazonicum: G; and 6) S.parahyba var. amazonicum and A. comosus var. erectifolius: Gc. The distance between forest species was 4 x 3 m and for plants of A. comosus 0.80 m x 0.50 m. The plot size was 18 x 24 m with four replicates per treatment, with a total of 24 plots and an experimental area of 10,368 m2. The variables analyzed to infer the growth of the forest component were height (H) and diameter at breast height (DBH), every 6 months for 3 years. In the six cropping systems the semiannual growth rate of height and DAP of S. parahyba var. amazonicum was higher in the first two years, and continued with a slow and steady trend of growth during the 36 months of the study. We observed a positive effect of the presence of A. comosus var. erectifolius in the growth of S. parahyba var.amazonicum plants.

Key words: Amazon; agroforestry; monocultures and degraded áreas


El incremento en la perturbación ambiental y la presión mundial para preservar la selva amazónica han fomentado el cultivo de especies nativas. Con el objetivo de evaluar el crecimiento de Schizolobium parahyba var. amazonicum (Huber ex Ducke) barneby cultivado en presencia de componentes agrícolas como Ananas comosus var. erectifolius, se desarrolló un estudio en la Estación Experimental de la empresa Tramontina Belem S.A., ubicada en la Ciudad de Aurora do Pará (PA), Brasil. El diseño experimental fue factorial de bloques completos al azar con parcelas subdivididas en el tiempo, para que los arreglos formaron los tratamientos de la parcela y las subparcelas fueron el tiempo de observación, con seis tratamientos y cuatro repeticiones: 1) S. parahyba var. amazonicum, Cordia goeldiana y Switenia macrophylla:GLC; 2) S. parahyba var. amazonicum, C. goeldiana, S. macrophylla y A. comosus var. erectifolius: GLCc; 3) S. parahyba var. amazonicum y C. goeldiana: GL; 4) S. parahyba var. amazonicum, C. goeldiana y A.comosus var. erectifolius; GLCc; 5) S. parahyba var. amazonicum: G; y 6) S.parahyba var. amazonicum y A. comosus var. Erectifolius: Gc. La distancia entre las especies forestales fue 4 x 3 m y para las plantas de A. comosus 0.80 mx0.50m. El tamaño de la parcela fue 18x24m con cuatro repeticiones por tratamiento, el total de parcelas fue 24 y de área experimental 10 368 m2. Las variables analizadas para inferir el crecimiento del componente forestal fueron altura (H) y diámetro a la altura del pecho (DAP), cada 6 meses durante 3 años. En los seis sistemas de cultivo la tasa semestral de crecimiento de la altura y DAP de S. parahyba var. amazonicum fue mayor en los dos primeros años, y siguió con una tendencia de crecimiento lento y continuo durante los 36 meses de estudio. El efecto positivo de la presencia de A. comosus var. erectifolius se observó en el crecimiento de las plantas de S. parahyba var.amazonicum.

Palabras clave: Amazonia; agroforestería; monocultivos y áreas degradadas


In the state of Pará in the Brazilian Amazon, forest and agroforestry plantations with native species are on the rise. The availability of disturbed areas and global pressure to preserve the Amazon rainforest have allowed the introduction of monocultures, consortia, windbreaks and agroforestry systems; the tree species Schizolobium parahyba var. amazonicum is the most used in these crops. Cordeiro et al. (2009) found that these systems generate environmental benefits and increase the supply of wood for reforestation and income for the people who manage the cultivated areas; so they are an alternative to restore areas with different degrees of degradation and abandoned by shifting cultivation. But to promote stability of these crops you need to plan forest products, control the process of operation, increase profits and maintain the balance between supply, demand and environment. For this purpose, you must apply a set of techniques to manage forest management units. These techniques are essential to estimate productivity of local species, since they contribute to the determination of the annual crop in the rotation period of the appropriate species (Vargas-Larreta et al., 2010). Therefore, a major challenge in the Amazon jungle is to reforest degraded areas with native species that meet industry needs to improve productivity.

Of the different farming systems used in the state of Pará, S. parahyba var. amazonicum (Huber ex Ducke) barneby (gavilán) plantations tend to be the main source of raw material for the manufacture of veneer and plywood. The choice of the species is due to its excellent forestry response since its growth is superior to most species (Cordeiro et al. 2009), also its physical and mechanical properties for lamination are optimum (Lanza de Sá, 2004) as well as its use in laminated wood beams (Terezo and Szucs, 2010). The species grows naturally in the Amazon, especially in Brazil, in areas of primary and secondary forests, upland soils (Ducke, 1939; Pereira et al., 1982). In Pará, during the period 2007-2009, the areas reforested with S.parahyba var. amazonicum increased from 41 100 to 79 159 ha, and went from 11 to 18.6 % of the total plantations with other species, as Switenia macropylla, Bertolhetia excelsa, Eucalyptus sp., Tectona grandis (SBS, 2013).

Studies of growth in the tropics are limited, often because the growth rings of trees are not visible. Dendrochronological researches are related to introduced and fast-growing species, mainly Pinus and Eucalyptus. Therefore, the growth of trees and the various climatic conditions data are obtained through periodic measurements of variables such as diameter, height, volume, weight, and biomass. Studies by Pereira et al. (1982), Rondon (2002), Tonini et al. (2006) and Nascimento et al. (2012) in gavilán plantations found that climatic factors, soil, topography, biological inter- and intra-specific competition and other byproducts of human activities (thinning of the ground and fires), often affect physiological processes and are reflected on the height and diameter.

Cordeiro et al. (2009) found that the cropping systems influence the growth of the species; also in gavilán plantations the appropriate mix of species with economic value makes a better use of space and generates social and environmental benefits. In this respect, the cultivation of A. comosus var. erectifolius (curauá), bromeliad producer of fiber, associated with S. parahyba var. amazonicum, is justified by the use of the site in the early years of the establishment of forest species, along with the possibility to earn income from the production of leaves, seeds and fibers with various crops. Thus, profits and income are generated in a short period, and the growth of S. amazonicum increases (Cordeiro et al., 2010). In addition to these responses and characteristics of the species, there is a need for information on changes in the growing conditions of native species.

The differences in growth in Schizolobium plantations in relation to the presence of the agricultural component can explain the development of gavilán. As a way to verify this influence the objective of the study was to examine the growth in height and diameter of S. parahyba var. amazonicum in the presence and absence of the agricultural component Ananas comosus var. erectifolius in Aurora do Pará, Brazil.

Materials and Methods

Study area

We conducted the study in the area of the company Tramontina Belem S.A., at kilometer 60 Br 010 , located in the Municipality of Aurora do Pará (PA), 02° 08’ 02” S, 47° 32’ 00” W, 50 m high. The climate according to the classification of Thornthwaite is tropical moist Am3 (Martorano et al., 1993) and the soil is a yellow Latosol, of loamy sandy texture, covered with abandoned pastures, dominated by the Amazon quiquio (Brachiaria humidicola (Rendle) Schweick).

Climatological data at a station located 1 km from the experimental area indicated an average annual temperature of 26 °C, annual rainfall of 2000 mm, and relative humidity of 74 %. During the study weather conditions were stable within the normal range of the region (INMET, 2015). The plants belonged to the set of trees used by the company, but in our study we focused on Schizolobium (Table 1).

Table 1 Species and number (N) of the plant components in the systems installed in the experimental study Tramontina Belém do Pará Aurora AS, Brazil. 

Nombre común Nombre científico Familia N
Gavilán (G) Schizolobium parahyba var. amazonicum (Huber ex Ducke) Barneby Fabaceae 1040
Laurel (L) Cordia goeldiana Huber Boraginaceae 96
Caoba (C) Switenia macropylla King Meliaceae 40
Curauá (c) Ananas comosus var. erectifolius L.B.Smith Bromeliaceae 9758

Experimental design

The experimental design was randomized complete blocks with plots split in time, so that the arrangements in cropping systems constituted the plot treatment, and the subplots were the observation period. The rectangular plots of 432 m2 (18 x 24 m) were composed of seven rows of seven plants each, with a total of 1176 individuals in the presence of A. comosus var. erectifolius spread over 10 368 m2. In this study we included all the plants of S. Parayba var.amazonicum present in the site.

The combination of gavilán forest plantations (S. parahyba var.amazonicum), laurel (C. goeldiana) and mahogany (S. macrophylla) (Table 1) with and without the presence of the agricultural component A. comosus var. erectifolius resulted in the following treatments: 1) Gavilán, Laurel and Caoba (Mahogany) (GLC); 2) Gavilán, Laurel and Caoba (Mahogany) and curauá (GLCc); 3) Gavilán and Laurel (GL); 4) Gavilán, Laurel and curauá (GLc); 5) Gavilán (G); and 6) Gavilán and curauá (Gc).

The planting of forest species (gavilán, laurel and caoba [mahogany]) was manual in the 4 m x 3 m, and 0.80 m x 0.50 m plots of curauá. We used livestock manure (500 g per tree) and chicken litter (150 g per tree) to fertilize trees and agricultural crops. In the first two years we applied chemical fertilizers at the beginning and end of the rainy season (January to June) using the formula NPK 10:28:20 (150 g per plant) for forest species, and 10:10:10 (10 g per plant) for curauá.

Variables and statistical analysis

In each plot we measured with a measuring tape the diameter of each plant at 1.30 m high, and total height (H) with an aluminum tape 8 m long, marked every 10 cm. The measurements above this level were obtained from estimates.

Plantations were measured at intervals of 6, 12, 18, 24, 30 and 36 months; in the last measurement the plants were 3, 4 and 5 years of age. Growth data were subjected to ANOVA; the means were compared with SNK test (p≤0.05) and for graphical analysis we used SAS 9.1 (SAS Institute, 1999).

Results and Discussion

The growth of H and DBH showed significant differences (p≤0.05) between planting systems with presence and absence of curauá at 3 and 5 years of age, and a highly significant difference at 4 years of age (p≤0.01). Moreover, there were significant differences of the variation source over time (p≤0.05). The interaction time for sowing per crop in gavilán plants of 3 and 5 years of age was significant (p≤0.05), but not for the 4 year-old plant (p>0.05) (Table 2).

Table 2 Mean square (CM) for height (H) and diameter at breast height (DBH) variables in plantations of Schizolobium parahyba var. amazonicum with three, four and five years old, in cropping systems with presence and absence of Ananas comosus var. erectifolius, Pará, Brazil. 

Fuentes de variación Edad (años)
3 4 5
H(m) DAP(cm) H (m) DAP(cm) H(m) DAP(cm)
Sistemas de cultivo 26.236* 52.786* 128.81** 71.64** 3.081* 13.095*
Tiempo 57.32** 57.966** 19.554** 37.72** 9.85** 53.04**
Sist. Cultivo x Tiempo 1.280* 2.976* 0.315ns 3.60ns 0.61* 5.021*
CV1 (%) 27.31 18.79 14.85 25.93 10.19 10.84
CV2 (%) 7.20 6.22 6.65 10.72 2.98 2.50

Gavilán plants of 3 and 4 years old in the presence of curauá differred significantly from those grown in the absence of agricultural species (Table 3). Growing systems plants, five years old, did not follow the same trend of younger plants. According to Cordeiro et al. (2006), the initial increase in growth driven by fertilizers and bromeliad leaves residues deposited on the soil after each harvest, justifies the adoption of the technique.

Table 3 Comparison of height (H) and diameter at breast height (DBH) of gavilán plantations of three, four and five years old, in the presence and absence of curauá. Campo Experimental Tramontina AS, Aurora do Pará (PA), Brazil. 

Edad (años) Sistemas de cultivos (tratamientos) Promedios
H (m) DAP (cm)
3 Gavilán-G 6.64 a 7.76 a
Gavilán y curauá-Gc 7.12 b 9.86 b
4 Gavilán y Laurel-GL 7.06 a 9.99 a
Gavilán, Laurel y curauá-GLc 10.34 b 12.43 b
5 Gavilán, Laurel y Caoba-GLC 9.26 a 12.85 a
Gavilán, Laurel, Caoba y curauá-GLCc 9.76 a 13.90 b

Plants cultivated in the presence of curauá showed higher growth in DAP, as compared to farming systems of the same age in the absence of agricultural crop (Table 3). Ohashi et al. (2010), Silva et al. (2011) and Ruivo et al. (2012) obtained similar results, whereby the gavilán crop planted with the agricultural species, regardless of the plantation age, showed an average increase of 9.5, 15.1, 18.07 and 11.5 m high, and 20.36, 11.6, 14.42 and 25.74 cm in diameter, with respect to plants in monoculture.

The growth trend of plants was similar during the experimental period, and between 12 and 24 months there was a significant increase in growth followed by a slight decrease in growth. Thus, for both variables the juvenile stage and rectilinear period were characterized in height and partly diameter, but it was impossible to verify the seasonal growth period (Figures 1 and 2).

Figure 1 Variation in height growth of Schizolobium parahyba var. amazonicum between 6 and 36 months of study in the presence and absence of Ananas comosus var. erectifolius. Tramontina Belem Experimental Station SA, Aurora do Pará (PA). G: Gavilán, L: Laurel; C: Mahogany (Caoba); c: curauá. 

Figure 2 Variation in the growth of Schizolobium parahyba var. amazonicum in diameter at breast height (DBH) within 6-36 months of study in the presence and absence of Ananas comosus var. erectifolius. Tramontina Belem Experimental Station SA, Aurora do Pará (PA). G: Gavilán, L: Laurel; C: Mahogany (Caoba); c: curauá. 

In trees, the variable height generally presented more pronounced changes in growth, especially in young age; the rapid change in height was evident in short periods of time.Therefore, gavilán plants (Figure 1) in the systems studied are influenced in their growth not only in the initial stage, but also at later stages, as they depend on environmental conditions. Imaña-Encinas et al. (2005) observed that these variations in height and diameter of trees depend on several factors that limit growth, and are not always controlled or supervised. Husch et al. (1982) stated that for each species and tree a time period would be necessary to complete their life cycle. According to Schwartz et al. (2013), through silvicultural techniques, such as the adoption of different initial spacings and fertilizer application the behavior of growth can change and its curve can be anticipated.

The gavilán is a fast growing species and its juvenile phase is very short (one to three years); the second phase extends for a longer period. The beginning of the stationary phase is difficult to determine accurately since it depends on factors such as climate and soil conditions.

Height growth is the result of the cell division activity in the bud or terminal. Then, due to the apical dominance of gavilán, the growth process in height seems to be related to the intense production of auxin and gibberellin in the first and second years, though it declines after the third year. This assumption is consistent with the findings by Morey (1980), who states that tropical woody plants of rapid growth have an accelerated pace in the first two years, and then the diffusible growth regulators are no longer produced, but directed to change (cambial) activity.

Diameter growth increased in the initial stage; it was followed by a slow and steady growth between 12 and 18 months, and rose again between 18 and 24 months. Then we observed a less marked growth trend up to 36 months (Figure 2). The gradual growth in diameter is given in terms of the activities of vascular change (Husch et al., 1982). In trees, diameter growth is influenced mainly by age, plant spacing and site conditions, as well as plant hormones, and interrelated environmental and genetic factors. Thus, Cordeiro et al. (2009) verified in 12-month-old gavilán plants a positive influence on the growth of diameter when they were associated with agricultural species.

The diameter curve appeared when the tree was 1.30 m tall, and the juvenile stage had already begun. This type of growth occurs abruptly, whereas the rectilinear phase usually takes a while and the annual rate substantially decreases. Even when gavilán exhibited this behavior, it was not possible to predict that of the species in the stages after the juvenile, since the study covered a period of only 36 months. In this regard, Scolforo (1994) reported that the value of the variables was produced by the physiological activity of the plant (primary and secondary or exchange meristem), but decreased as the time period of observation of variables became less precise over the changes in biological growth, noting that the growth of a tree shows different variations in height, diameter, basal area, volume and weight, and depends on several factors that are not always controlled or monitored, such as genetic and interactions with the environment. In a study carried out in central Mexico with Taxodium mucronatum, Correa-Díaz et al. (2014) observed that climatic variables are indicators of the growth pace of trees. These authors suggested that temperature influences the plant meristematic activity and photosynthesis activity, which can lead to a higher growth during the growing season.

From the results, it is clear that the establishment of agroforestry meets the need of rapidly having trees with an appropriate and desirable diameter for the industrial use of wood, and contribute to reinforcing the adoption of sustainable and ecological practices.

In the selection of species for commercial plantations, the most used variable is volume, and the good performance of S. parahyba var. amazonicum plants indicates that it is possible to practice agroforestry rationally.

The difference between these productions biologically justify sowing A. comosus var. erectifolius in conditions similar to those of the species studied. However, one aspect of this production that could pose problems would be the quality of wood obtained by the rapid initial development.

Wood formation is influenced by environmental variations, cultural practices of the species and time of planting. When young, physiology does not ensure that plants fix carbon, synthesize new tissues and earn the specific mass expected (Trugilho et al., 2015). Thus, any change in the quality of wood influences the processing and industrialization of rough lumber.


Schizolobium parahyba var. Amazonicum plants, regardless of the cultivation system used, in the presence or absence of the agricultural component Ananas comosus var. erectifolius, follow the normal growth trend, both in height and diameter (at breast height); the latter is more pronounced in the first two years of planting, and from that period onwards the intensity of growth decreases. The growth of gavilán is favored by the presence of the agricultural component curauá.

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Received: November 01, 2014; Accepted: September 01, 2015

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