Effect of leaf harvest on wax palm (Ceroxylon echinulatum Galeano) growth, and implications for sustainable management in Ecuador

Nina Duarte, Rommel Montúfar

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

9 Citas (Scopus)

Resumen

The wax palm (Ceroxylon echinulatum) is an arborescent, dioecious and slow-growing palm distributed on Andean slopes at 1000-2000 m elevation in Ecuador and northern Peru. The leaves of wax palm have been traditionally harvested and used for the making of handicrafts during Easter celebrations. It has been suggested that removal of unexpanded leaves may be the main source of threat to the survival of the species. The goal of this work was to evaluate the impact of leaf removal on growth and development of C. echinulatum. Leaf production and growth were monitored in 60 young individuals divided into three treatments: T0 - control, T1- without damage to adjacent leaves; T2- with damage to adjacent leaves. Results from two years of observation reveal that leaf growth rate and the number of new leaves produced per individual are not adversely affected by this practice. Harvest treatments were equal or even higher than the control for both variables. Balance of leaf number in the crown (before and after the extraction) was negative in the harvest treatments, indicating a factor of unsustainability in the annual harvest management of the species. The results suggest that biennial harvesting of one young leaf per individual could be sustainable. An appropriate management strategy could be to distinguish young individual populations by marking palms with nine or more leaves in the crown in different quadrants of extraction, in order to perform rotational, biennial and monitored cropping.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)340-351
Número de páginas12
PublicaciónTropical Conservation Science
Volumen5
N.º3
DOI
EstadoPublicada - sep. 2012

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