Julie Bossu

PhD defended on December, 16th 2015.

Potential of Bagassa guianensis and Cordia alliodora for plantation projects under the tropics. Description of a singular growth strategy combining rapid growth rate and wood quality.

The forests of French Guiana occupy a central part of the region’s potential resource base, but as yet remain almost completely unexploited. This stems from the forestry industry struggling to valorise wood stocks of a high diversity with an extremely heterogenous distribution. Indeed, identifying essences for future propagation is an issue of both environmental and socio-economic importance for the region.

Bagassa guianensis Aubl. and Cordia alliodora (Ruiz & Pav.) Oken. go against conventional models, in that they display the life history characteristics of rapid growth and wood of high quality, and thus are species of high potential for future plantations. Firstly, our study of growth characteristics reveals a defined strategy half way between long-lived species and pioneer species. It is the variability of basic density of wood which is a key trait allowing for such a development, favouring rapid growth in initial years whilst allowing for tree longevity. Secondly, the analysis of a range of wood properties (shrinkage, modulus of elasticity, durability) in relation to tree growth confirms the technologic quality of the two species. It also enables the emergence of new results like the effect of extractives on wood stability, the control of growth as a result of basic density variation, the evolution of leaf traits throughout tree development or the improvement of trunk maintenance thanks to interlocked grain. The knowledge gained in relation to the developmental traits of these two species, and to the quality of their wood allows for the elaboration of plantation projects and what will be required for their success. The results of this study can orientate future studies on novel species for commercialisation in French Guiana.

FSE Guyane {PNG}Union Européenne {PNG}

Student funded by the European Union and labex Ceba.

Labex Ceba {PNG}

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