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Effects of site management on Eucalyptus plantations in the equatorial zone, on the coastal plains of the Congo

Bouillet J.P., Nzila J.D., Laclau J.P., Ranger J.. 2000. In : Nambiar E.K.S. (ed.), Tiarks A. (ed.), Cossalter Christian (ed.), Ranger Jacques (ed.). Site management and productivity in tropical plantation forests : a progress report. Workshop proceedings. Bogor : CIFOR, p. 11-20. Workshop on Site Management and Productivity in Tropical Plantation Forests. 3, 1999-12-07/1999-12-11, Kerala (Inde).

Sustainability is a research priority for clonal eucalypt plantations planted on very sandy and poor soils in the Congo. Results from a study using cloned Eucalyptus hybrids conducted since 1997 show: (1) a marked depressive effect on tree growth of rernoving slash and tree biomass after harvest; (2) a high risk of nutrient leaching in the first year after harvesting linked to, the high rate of litter decomposition; (3) a temporary starter effect of litter burning but a depressive effect in the medium term; and (4) a slow but lasting impact of burying litter. It is concluded that site management must conserve a maximum amount of organic matter to ensure a sustainable production system. Debarking and retention on site of the upper stem and other harvesting slash without burning is recommended.

Mots-clés : eucalyptus; hybride; type de sol; impact sur l'environnement; congo

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