Reforestation monitoring and seedling survival rates for 2011

(November 17, 2011). Approximately 16 weeks after planting, MBF has returned to our reforestation sites to observe how the seedlings are adapting to their new environment. Once again, this field work is being led by Pablo Jaramillo, with help from Tacho and Gerardo from Alternare, Lalo and Teo (students from UNAM) and Agustín, Victor and Magdaleno who are from the community of El Rincón.The team set out to determine seedling survival rates in four reforested sites as well as the experimental plot. The experimental plot consisted of sites where an organic soil amendment was applied to determine its influence on tree survival rates. Additionally, trees from 2 different sources are being evaluated to determine if trees produced locally adapt better than trees brought in from a commercial nursery. After the rainy season, our preliminary results show that the locally produced trees have a survival rate of 100% while trees from the commercial nursery have a survival rate of 98%. In addition to monitoring survival rates inside the experimental plot, the team also monitored sites that were reforested in the 2011 season. Survival rates determined in these sites outside the experimental plot show similar trends. Two sites where only trees from local nurseries were planted have survival rates between 95-97 % while two sites where only trees from the commercial nursery were included have survival rates between 90-93%. The remaining reforested sites will be monitores as well to detetmine if these preliminary trends are also seen elsewhere. Pablo and his colleagues havealso noted that seedlings across the different sites are adapting differently, as the trees produced locally have a more intense green color and have an overall healthier appearance than the trees brought from a commercial nursery. If the tree seedlings from the community nurseries show a higher survival rate for the remainder of the season, it is likely that MBF will increase the number of seedlings purchased from these nursuries in future reforestation projects.