Silvicultural systems for plantation mahogany in Africa: Influences of canopy shade on tree growth and pest damage

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Overexploitation of the African mahoganies, Khaya anthotheca and K. ivorensis, could lead to their commercial extinction in the near future. Efforts to establish plantations to sustain supply have been discouraged by the shoot borer Hypsipyla robusta Moore. We hypothesized that there is a shade level at which Hypsipyla attack and branching are reduced, but height growth is adequate. We report on the growth of these African mahoganies and Hypsipyla attack under three different forest canopy shade levels: open (55% open sky), medium shade (26% open), and deep shade (11% open). Hypsipyla attack on K. anthotheca was 85%, 11%, and 0% attack in the open, medium, and deep shade treatments, respectively. However, growth in medium and deep shade was slow. Mean tree height for K. anthotheca was 413.8, 126.2, and 54.5 cm in the open, medium and deep shade treatments, respectively. K. ivorensis showed similar trends. The reduced growth under these shade levels limit the use of this strategy for controlling Hypsipyla attack. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Forest Ecology and Management