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Eucalyptus Plantations in the equatorial zone, on the coastal plains of the Congo

Bouillet J.P., Nzila J.D., Ranger J., Laclau J.P., Nizinski G.. 1999. In : Nambiar E.K.S. (ed.), Cossalter C. (ed.), Tiarks A. (ed.). Site management and productivity in tropical plantation forests. Workshop proceedings. Bogor : CIFOR, p. 13-21. Workshop on Site Management and Productivity in Tropical Plantation Forests, 1998-02-16/1998-02-20, Pietermaritzburg (Afrique du Sud).

43 000 hectares of eucalyptus clonal plantations have been created around Pointe-Noire. Soils in the area are sandy and have limited nutrients, making them prone to degradation. Ensuring sustained productivity of these plantations without adverse impact on the soil is a research priority. Two trials of replanting and silviculture at the early stage of stand development are underway. Experiment 1 compares six kinds of treatments and their effects on the kind and amount of residue that remains after clear felling. Experiment 2 involves six blocks in which three litter treatments are crossed with three site preparation treatments. Accurate site and stand characterization prior to clear felling has been carried out for both experiments. The results of Experiment 1 are not yet available. Initial results in Experiment 2 at 11 months after planting show improved tree growth because of quicker release of nutrients into the soil when litter is burnt. Similarly, young trees respond better to subsoiling with three tines. However, in both cases these positive effects are no longer significant after 21 months.

Mots-clés : plantation forestière; eucalyptus; clone; sol sableux; biomasse; carence du sol; traitement du sol; productivité; durabilité; expérimentation; sylviculture; congo

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