Scientia Forestalis, volume 44, n. 110
p.281-291, junho de 2016

Development of Swietenia macrophylla King in escape areas

Desenvolvimento de Swietenia macrophylla King em área de escape

Karen Janones da Rocha1
Sidney Fernando Caldeira2
Gilvano Ebling Brondani3

1PHD Student in Forestry Engineering. UFSM - Universidade Federal de Santa Maria. Av. Roraima, 1000 – Cidade Universitária – Camobi -97105-900 – Santa Maria, RS, Brasil. E-mail: karennjr@hotmail.com.
2Professor at Forestry Engineering Department. UFMT - Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso.  Av. Fernando Correa da Costa s/n - Coxipó - 78068-000 - Cuiaba, MT, Brasil. E-mail: sidneycal@gmail.com.
3Professor at Departament of Forestry Science. UFLA - Universidade Federal de Lavras. Caixa Postal 3037 -  Campus Universitário - 37200000 - Lavras, MG, Brasil. E-mail: gebrondani@yahoo.com.br.

Recebido em 01/01/2015 - Aceito para publicação em 10/10/2015

Resumo

O cultivo de Swietenia macrophylla King é inviabilizado pela ação de leptobroca. Assim, os objetivos para o estudo foram avaliar o desenvolvimento da espécie em plantio homogêneo no Sudoeste do estado de Mato Grosso, Brasil, e a região como área de escape à ação da Hypsipyla grandella Zeller. Foram plantadas 150 árvores no espaçamento 3,0 m x 3,0 m, distribuídas em quatro blocos de 21 árvores, além da bordadura. Cinco meses após o plantio foram avaliados a sobrevivência e o diâmetro à altura do colo. Periodicamente, até 152 meses, foram registrados densidade, diâmetro à altura do peito, altura total e altura comercial e determinadas área transversal média e área basal. Complementarmente, cada árvore foi classificada pela forma do fuste e seu estado fitossanitário. Aos 152 meses, com de 53,6% de sobrevivência, os valores médios e coeficientes de variação foram, respectivamente, de 20,6 cm (4,7%), 16,3 m (4,3%), 5,5 m (6,4%), 0,0346 m2 árvore-1 (9,3%) e 20,5295 m2 ha-1, e mais de 50% das árvores com fuste reto sem ou com galhos. A mortalidade foi devida a causas abióticas e não foram registrados problemas fitossanitários. A região apresenta potencial para o cultivo de S. macrophyla e pode ser considerada como área de escape para a leptobroca.
Palavras-chave: Silvicultura, mogno, leptobroca, evasão.

Abstract

Swietenia macrophylla King cultivation is made difficult by the shoot borer action. Thus, the objectives of this research were to evaluate the development of the species in a homogeneous plantation in south western Mato Grosso State, Brazil, and to evaluate if the region could act as an escape area from the action of Hypsipyla grandella Zeller. 150 S. macrophylla seedlings were planted in 3.0 m x 3.0 m row spacing, distributed into four 21 trees blocks, in addition to the border. Five months after planting, the survival and diameter at ground level were measured. Periodically, until 152 months of age, density, diameter at breast height, total height and commercial height were measured, and the average cross-sectional area and basal area were determined. In addition, each tree was rated by stem shape and health. At 152 months, with 53.6% survival, the average rates and coefficient of variation were 20.6 cm (4.7%), 16.3 m (4.3%), 5.5 m (6.4%), 0.0346 m2 tree-1 (9.3%) and 20.5295 m2 ha-1, respectively, and over 50% of the trees had a straight stem with or without branches. Mortality was due to abiotic causes, and no crop health problems were recorded. The region shows potential for S. macrophyla growth and may be considered as an escape area from the Hypsipyla grandella Zeller borer.
Keywords: Forestry, mahogany, shoot borer, evasion.


INTRODUCTION

The demand for forest products is influenced by population growth and the increase of profiteering from natural forests. Thus, reforestation, in addition to being an economic alternative, leads to social and environmental benefits and can relieve some of the pressure on native forests. However, most of the species used are exotic, due to the ease of establishing homogeneous plantations; their quick development and because stems produced are straighter due to strong apical growth.

Such features are not so common in tropical native species and, among the exceptions, Swetenia macrophylla King is worth highlighting within the Meliaceae. This species is classified as late secondary and usually rare, despite the fact that it is found in groups of natural glades or as a result of anthropic activity (CARVALHO, 2007). It is known for the quality of its wood which possesses durability, dimensional stability and is easy to handle (RIBEIRO, 2010). However, the action of Hypsipyla grandella Zeller shoot borer is the main limiting factor for its growth in regions where it occurs naturally in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAMB, 1966; CARVALHO, 2007).

The insect consumes the apical meristem and frustrates the establishment of commercial plantations of Swietenia, Cedrela and Carapa species (GRIJPMA; RAMALHO, 1969; GRIJPMA, 1974; NEWTON et al., 1993; HILJE; CORNELIUS, 2001; RIBEIRO, 2010). The shoot borer action decreases the tree's growth rate and subsequent attacks may occur, though the attacks rarely result in the death of the plant (GRIJPMA, 1970; NEWTON et al., 1993; MAUÉS, 2001; OHASHI et al., 2008).

In S. macrophylla plantations in Malaysia in 1982 (GHEE, 2001) and on the Australian continent (GRIFFITHS, 1997), severe attacks from another shoot borer species, Hypsipyla robusta Moore, have been recorded. In Sri Lanka, from 1980 to 2001 moderate attacks from this species (TILAKARATNA, 2001) have occurred, which significantly affected productivity. In Brazil, the high infestation rate of H. grandella was one of the reasons for the failure of pure mahogany plantations in Pará (GROGAN et al., 2002). In addition to affecting productivity, the coppicing that takes place below the insect attack area also leads to forking, which affects the stem's quality and length.

According to Carvalho (2003), the low distribution and density of S. machophylla in indigenous forests, with a mean of one tree per hectare, might be the escape strategy from the borer's attacks to ensure its perpetuation and, according to Ribeiro (2010), even in small plantations; the occurrence of borer attacks is rare, most likely because they qualify as escape areas.

In light of this, the objective of this research was to evaluate the development of Swietenia macrophylla in homogeneous plantations in southwestern Mato Grosso State, Brazil, and that region as an escape area from Hypsipyla grandella activity.


MATERIAL AND METHODS

The study was developed in the city of Nossa Senhora do Livramento, Mato Grosso State, Brazil, 73 km southwest of the capital Cuiabá, in an area within the coordinates 16°12’32”S and 56°22’57”W.

The climate in the region is classified as Aw, according to Köppen, with defined dry and rainy seasons, 1,300 mm year-1 mean rainfall, 25°C mean temperature, with averages between 20°C minimum and 32°C maximum, and 70% to 75% air humidity (ALVARES et al., 2013). According to EMBRAPA (2006), the relief is slightly rugged and the soil is rated as “PLANOSSOLO HÁPLICO Eutrófico” (Eutrophic Haplic Planosol), with a texture of loamy-sandy with clay (Table 1). The original vegetation of the experimental area was savannah and park savannah without gallery forests (IBGE, 2012) and, after removal of the original vegetation; the area was initially destined for agriculture with rice production and subsequently for grazing.

Table 1. Physical-chemical analysis of two soil samples from the experimental area in south western Mato Grosso State, Brazil.
Tabela 1. Análise físico-química de duas amostras de solo da área experimental na região Sudoeste do estado de Mato Grosso, Brasil.
Sample Physical Chemical
Sand Silt Clay Ca Al P O.M.* pH
g kg-1 g kg-1 g kg-1 cmolc dm-3 cmolc dm-3 mg dm-3 g dm-3 H2O
1 620 50 330 3.4 0.0 19.1 19 6.0
2 610 50 340 4.9 0.0 19.5 14 6.3
* organic matter.

The soil in the area was previously decompressed, ploughed and levelled and, in February 2001, 150 S. macrophylla seedlings were planted in 3.0 m x 3.0 m row spacing, distributed into four 21 tree-blocks, with the remainder used as a border. The seedlings were produced from seeds collected in the Sinop city region, in an area within the coordinates 11°51’S and 55°30’W, in Mato Grosso State, Brazil.

Five months after planting, survival rates and diameter at ground level were recorded. Yearly, until 152 months after planting, density, diameter at breast height (DBH), total height and commercial height were recorded, as well as their mean values calculated. Commercial height was considered from the base of the stem to the first branch. Additionally, the average cross-sectional area was calculated and the basal area per hectare was estimated, along with the respective average and current increase.

Each tree was classified by stem shape according to the criteria by Jankauskis (1979) (Table 2) and by plant health state, as established by Schneider et al. (1988) (Table 3), with the values expressed as a frequency. 152 months after planting, the trees were classified by the dominance class by criteria established by Hosokawa and Souza (1987) (Table 4), also expressed as a frequency.

Table 2. Criteria for classification of individuals due to stem shape or quality, according to Jankauskis (1979).
Tabela 2. Critério para classificação dos indivíduos quanto à forma ou qualidade de fuste segundo Jankauskis (1979).
Code Description
SS1 Straight stem, no side branches, well defined canopy, typically commercial.
SS2 Straight stem, with side branches, but commercially usable.
SS3 Somewhat tortuous, no side branches and partial usage.
SS4 Tortuous stem, with side branches, low commercial usage.
SS5 Tortuous or other defects, with side branches, almost no commercial usage.

Table 3. Criteria to classify individuals for their plant health state (A) and intensity (B) of the anomaly observed, according to Schneider et al. (1988).
Tabela 3. Critério para classificação dos indivíduos quanto ao estado fitossanitário (A) e a intensidade (B) da anomalia observada segundo Schneider et al. (1988).
Code A Cause Code B Intensity*
1 Healthy individual 0 None
2 Abiotic damage
3 Damage by insects or pests 1 Low
4 Damage by fungi or diseases
5 Damage by animals 2 Average
6 Complex damages
7 Dead tree standing 3 High
* low: below 10% of the area affected; average: above 10% and below 30% of the area affected; high: above 30% of the area affected.

Table 4. Criteria to determine the amplitude of dominance classes, according to Hosokawa and Souza (1987).
Tabela 4. Critério para determinar amplitude das classes de dominância, segundo Hosokawa e Souza (1987).
Code Name Criteria
D Dominant DAPi ≥  + 2*Sn-1
CD Co-dominant  + 1*Sn-1 ≤ DBHi < + 2*Sn-1
I Intermediate  – 1*Sn-1 < DBHi < + 1*Sn-1
S Suppressed  – 2*Sn-1 < DBHi– 1*Sn-1
O Oppressed DBHi – 2*Sn-1
where: DBHi = tree diameter at breast height i (cm); = average diameter at breast height (cm); Sn-1 = population standard deviation.

To interpret tree distribution features, the variables' descriptive statistics were calculated and the distribution of frequencies was determined by the empirical method. The Kendall correlation was calculated to understand the behaviour of the variables with respect to density since it did not meet the criteria of the Shapiro-Wilk normality statistic (W = 0.0292*). The Chapman and Richards model (1959) was used, Y = a.(1-e-b.age)c to estimate the behaviour of the dendrometric variables from the fifth to the 152nd month, and the underlying assumptions of residues’ normality by Shapiro-Wilk test was checked; also the homogeneity of variance by the White test and the independence of residues by the Durbin-Watson test, all at 5% level of significance. The degree of explanation of the independent variables in relation to the dependent variable was assessed by the coefficient of determination (R²) and accuracy by the standard error of estimate in percentage (Syx%).


RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

For the assessed dendrometric variables (Table 5), asymmetry was positive, which means that some of the higher class individuals differ from the majority of the individuals by displaying markedly higher values. As for the asymmetry coefficients for total height, commercial height and cross-sectional area, the values were moderate in modules from 0.15 to 1.00, while values of DBH were low, in modules below 0.15 (RENCHER, 2002).

Table 5. Descriptive statistics of diameter at breast height (DBH), total height (TH) and commercial height (CH), basal area (G) and average cross-sectional area () for Swietenia macrophylla King in a homogeneous plantation in south western Mato Grosso State, Brazil, 2001–2013.
Tabela 5. Estatística descritiva de diâmetro à altura do peito (DBH), altura total (TH) e comercial (CH), área basal (G) e área transversal média () para Swietenia macrophylla King em plantio homogêneo, na região Sudoeste do estado de Mato Grosso, Brasil, 2001–2013.
Descriptive statistics DBH (cm) TH (m) CH (m) G (m2 ha-1) (m2 tree-1)
Average 13.4631 8.8980 3.6646 9.8207 0.01599
Standard error 1.8991 1.2888 0.4589 2.0885 0.00354
Median 14.9919 9.5212 3.8908 10.3748 0.01607
Standard deviation 6.2986 4.4645 1.5897 7.2347 0.01227
Interval 20.2061 15.1906 5.1794 20.5249 0.03460
Minimum 0.3742 1.1368 0.3695 0.0046 0.00001
Maximum 20.5804 16.3275 5.5490 20.5295 0.03461
Variance  39.6723 19.9317 2.5272 52.3405 0.00015
Skewness coefficient -1.0089 -1.3509 -0.7825 * -0.3570
Asymmetry coefficient -0.1272 0.1504 0.2078 * 0.6798
* date from the extrapolation to the hectare

The skewness coefficient values for all variables were negative, so the distribution of these variables is a platykurtic curve (SPIEGEL, 1976). This demonstrates a uniform distribution of individuals among the classes for all variables.

At five months, the survival index was 0.79, which translated to a density of 873 trees per ha-1. The seedlings had an average diameter at ground level of 0.5 cm (CV = 3.0%) and height of 30 cm (CV = 2.9%). In a homogeneous plantation using the same species, the mortality rate was similar to the one observed in the Federal District at seven months (GUIMARÃES NETO et al., 2004), and leaf cutting ant attacks were the main cause of mortality. The mortality rate was 15% in Pará at six months (SILVA et al., 2013), and the intensity of H. grandella attacks were lower in the first months of the year, with higher rainfall.

At 17th month, the mortality rate was 12%; from the 29th to the 103rd month, the average mortality was 1.9%; and, from then until the 152nd month, there was no mortality (Table 6). No symptoms of biotic causes were associated to mortality; however it was associated with the time of planting at the end of the rainy season, considering that the species is rated as late secondary, and the planting area is not the natural occurrence area for the species, and there were records of intense winds. From the above it follows that mortality was associated with succession features of the species (BUDOWSKI, 1965; CARVALHO, 2007).

With the decrease in density, there was no need of thinning because of the continuous availability of area for the trees to grow.

Table 6. Average rates of density, diameter at breast height (DBH), total height (TH), commercial height (CH), basal area (G) and average cross-sectional area () for Swietenia macrophylla King in a homogeneous plantation, in south western Mato Grosso State, Brazil, 2001–2013.
Tabela 6. Valores médios de densidade, diâmetro à altura do peito (DBH), altura total (TH), altura comercial (CH), área basal (G) e área transversal média () para Swietenia macrophylla King em plantio homogêneo, na região Sudoeste do estado de Mato Grosso, Brasil, 2001–2013.
Age (months) Density (trees ha-1) DBH (cm) TH (m) CH (m) G (m² ha-1) (m² tree-1)
17 741 0.3*(106.2) 1.1(6.2) 0.4(7.0) 0.0046 0.0000(2325.5)
29 728 0.4(62.5) 3.1(7.7) 1.3(13.2) 0.0083 0.0000(1509.6)
42 714 6.6(8.8) 4.3(9.6) 3.1(14.8) 2.5598 0.0036(6.8)
54 661 8.5(2.4) 6.5(5.3) 3.1(14.8) 3.8983 0.0059(6.6)
67 661 10.8(4.7) 8.2(5.9) 3.5(14.8) 6.2730 0.0094(9.0)
79 648 13.5(8.8) 8.5(9.6) 3.9(14.8) 8.9591 0.0137(6.8)
93 635 15.0(4.1) 10.6(7.2) 3.9(9.4) 11.7905 0.0184(7.1)
103 595 16.8(4.3) 11.2(9.6) 3.8(14.8) 13.5213 0.0227(7.7)
115 595 17.8(8.8) 11.6(9.6) 4.6(14.8) 15.2573 0.0246(6.8)
128 595 18.6(1.9) 12.2(3.4) 5.4(6.9) 16.6538 0.0280(2.5)
141 595 19.5(4.0) 13.0(4.5) 5.4(13.1) 18.3929 0.0310(7.9)
152 595 20.6(4.7) 16.3(4.3) 5.5(6.4) 20.5295 0.0346(9.3)
* diameter at ground level. The values in parentheses correspond to the coefficient of variation (%).

The stabilised 53.6% survival rate starting at 103 months after planting is similar to the 50% recorded by Souza et al. (2010) at 72 months, and superior to the 36.1% recorded by Souza et al. (2008) at 132 months (Table 7). However, for the same periods, the DBH values obtained by those authors are lower than those in this paper, despite of the lower density. When compared to other researches (Table 7), the variable values recorded here are similar or better, even if the experimental area does not show all of the conditions considered ideal by CATIE (2000) for the development of S. macrophylla.

Table 7. Experimental results for diameter at breast height (DBH) and total height (TH) due to age, with Swietenia macrophylla King, in homogeneous and combined plantations.
Tabela 7. Resultados experimentais de diâmetro à altura do peito (DAP) e de altura total (Ht) em função da idade, com Swietenia macrophylla King em plantios homogêneos e consorciados.
Age (months) DBH (cm) TH (m) Type of plantation (homogeneous or combined) Author
13 1.0* 1.2 Homogeneous Grijpma (1971)
1.0* 1.2 With meliaceae
24 4.0* 1.8 Homogeneous Silva et al. (2013)
23 5.4* 2.4 Homogeneous Mazzei & Felfili (2001)
4.5* 1.6 With Dipterix alata
24 4.3 1.6 Homogeneous Guimarães Neto et al. (2004)
3.6 1.3 With Eucalyptus urophylla
25 6.4 6.5 Homogeneous Mazzei & Felfili (2001)
6.8 7.5 With Copaifera langsdorffi
26 2.6 3.0 Homogeneous Ribeiro (2010)
36 6.3 3.3 Homogeneous Guimarães Neto et al. (2004)
3.9 2.3 With Eucalyptus urophylla
40 6.9 3.4 Homogeneous Guimarães Neto et al. (2004)
4.1 2.3 With Eucalyptus urophylla
42 5.0 3.8 Homogeneous Melo (2003)
7.6 5.1 With Syagrus oleracea
72 10.9 7.7 Homogeneous Souza et al. (2010)
132 16.1 12.0 Homogeneous Souza et al. (2008)
* diameter at ground level.

The assumptions of regression normality and independence of residues were fully met by the Shapiro-Wilk test (W) and the Durbin-Watson test (DW), respectively, at 5% level significance. The same applied to the homogeneity of variances by the White test (LM) (Table 8).

Table 8. Adjustment statistics and accuracy of the Chapman and Richards model (1959) for the variables diameter at breast height (DBH), total height (TH), commercial height (CH), average cross-sectional area () and basal area (G ), with their respective estimated parameters and statistics tests of Durbin-Watson (DW), serial correlation (r), White (LM) and Shapiro-Wilk (W) for Swietenia macrophylla King in a homogeneous plantation, in southwestern Mato Grosso State, Brazil, 2001–2013.
Tabela 8. Estatísticas de ajuste e precisão do modelo de Chapman e Richards (1959) para as variáveis diâmetro à altura do peito (DAP), altura total (Ht), altura comercial (Hc), área transversal média () e área basal (G), com seus respectivos parâmetros estimados e as estatísticas dos testes de Durbin-Watson (DW), correlação em série (r), White (LM) e Shapiro-Wilk (W) para Swietenia macrophylla King. em plantio homogêneo, na região Sudoeste do estado de Mato Grosso, Brasil, 2001-2013.
Y a b c Syx% DW LM W
DBH 21.26885* 0.02703* 3.68493* 8.81 0.99 0.5046ns 0.4954ns 10.96ns 0.93ns
TH 64.47218* 0.00143* 0.90668* 9.59 0.98 0.0946ns 0.9054ns 10.78ns 0.95ns
CH 4.99775* 0.02705* 1.92220* 14.79 0.94 0.3750ns 0.6250ns 9.12ns 0.97ns
0.05666* 0.01216* 2.94096* 6.81 0.99 0.3713ns 0.6287ns 10.61ns 0.98ns
G 22.80237* 0.02193* 4.79730* 3.84 0.99 0.3713ns 0.6287ns 10.61ns 0.98ns
* significant at 5% level of error probability; ns not significant at 5% level of error probability. R² = coefficient of determination; Syx% = standard error of estimate in percentage.

The increase in DBH of S. macrophylla was continuous until 152 months. However, from the 93rd month, such increase was lower and coincides with density stagnation (Figure 1A). For total height, the increase was continuous throughout the period, and the commercial height displayed lower increases from the 79th month (Figure 1B). The criteria for commercial height consider the length of the stem from the ground surface to the first branch that composes the canopy. Thus, the canopy length increased beginning in the 79th month, due to the bifurcation that took place during this period (Figure 1B).


Figure 1. Variation in density and behaviour of the estimated diameter at breast height (A), of the total and commercial (B) heights, and the basal (C) and average cross-sectional (D) areas, with respect to the time period for Swietenia macrophylla King in a homogeneous plantation in the south western region of Mato Grosso State, Brazil, 2001–2013.
Figura 1. Variação da densidade e comportamento da estimativa do diâmetro à altura do peito (A), das alturas total e comercial (B), e das áreas basal (C) e transversal média (D), em função do período para Swietenia macrophylla King em plantio homogêneo, na região Sudoeste do estado de Mato Grosso, Brasil, 2001–2013.

Until the 93rd month, the behaviour of the basal area was similar to that of the average cross-sectional area. From that point on, the increase in basal area was lower, while the increase rate in the average cross-sectional area was continuous until 141 months (Figure 1C). For all of the variables, the behaviour displayed a strong negative correlation with density (Table 9).

Table 9. Correlation between density, diameter at breast height (DBH), total height (TH), commercial height (CH), basal area (G) and average cross-sectional area () for Swietenia macrophylla King in a homogeneous plantation, in south western Mato Grosso State, Brazil, 2001–2013.
Tabela 9. Correlação entre os valores de densidade, diâmetro à altura do peito (DBH), altura total (TH), altura comercial (CH), área basal (G) e área transversal média () para Swietenia macrophylla King em plantio homogêneo, na região Sudoeste do estado de Mato Grosso, Brasil, 2001–2013.
Variable Density (tree ha-1) DBH (cm) TH (m) CH (m) G (m² ha-1)
DBH (cm) -0.9129* 1.0000 - - -
TH (m) -0.9129* 1.0000* 1.0000 - -
CH (m) -0.8805* 0.9614* 0.9614* 1.0000 -
G (m² ha-1) -0.9129* 1.0000* 1.0000* 0.9614* 1.0000
(m² tree-1) -0.9031* 0.9924* 0.9924* 0.9528* 0.9924*
* significant at 5% level of error probability.

The variation of the current annual increase (CAI) of total height (Figure 2A) and DBH (Figure 2B) displayed similar behaviour to the alternating periods of higher and lower increase, and such periods were not coincident. Until 96 months, the higher height increase values occurred in periods before higher DBH increases and it is possible to interpret that primary growth preceded secondary growth.

The variation of the mean annual increase (MAI) for total height (TH) alternated between lower and higher values that, in three assessments, were approximately 1.4 m year-1 (Figure 2A), while the DBH from the 36th to the 115th month varied by approximately 2.0 cm year-1 before decreasing slowly and constantly (Figure 2B). Such values are above those recorded by Guimarães Neto et al. (2004) at 40 months and by Souza (2008) at 132 months and were above the worldwide averages reviewed by Veríssimo et al. (1995) and Veríssimo and Grogan (1998).


Figure 2. Variation of current annual increase (CAI) and mean annual increase (MAI) of total height (A), of diameter at breast height (B), basal area (C), and average cross-sectional area (D), with respect to the time period for Swietenia macrophylla King in a homogeneous plantation, in south western Mato Grosso State, Brazil, 2001–2013.
Figura 2. Variação dos incrementos corrente anual (CAI) e médio anual (MAI) da altura total (A), do diâmetro à altura do peito (B), da área basal (C), e da área transversal média (D), em função do período para Swietenia macrophylla King em plantio homogêneo, na região Sudoeste do estado de Mato Grosso, Brasil, 2001–2013.

The variation of the CAI of basal area (Figure 2C) and average cross-sectional area (Figure 2D) displayed similar behaviour and there was coincidence between the periods of higher and lower increases until 152 months. The MAI variation was also similar, with a continuous increase until 115 months, when it stabilised.

Until 42 months, S. macrophylla displayed typical apical growth which led to straight stems with no branches (SS1), as classified by Jankauskis' criteria (1979). From 54 to 115 months, the straight stems with branches (SS2) were dominant, this is a period in which many trees went into bifurcation and formed canopies and, as a consequence, stems were found at lower heights and canopies had greater length. Artificial pruning starting in the 42nd month might have contributed to stem quality. In the last three assessments, the trees presented stems in every quality class, with a dominance of stems without branches, straight (SS1) or tortuous (SS3), whose frequency was approximately 50% (Figure 3A).


Figure 3. Stem frequencies due to quality (A), and dominance class (B) with respect to the time period for Swietenia macrophylla King in a homogeneous plantation, in south western Mato Grosso State, Brazil, 2001–2013. SS1 = Straight stem, no side branches, well defined canopy, typically commercial; SS2 = Straight stem, with side branches, but commercially usable; SS3 = Somewhat tortuous, no side branches and partial usage; SS4 = Tortuous stem, with side branches, low commercial usage; SS5 = Tortuous or other defects, with side branches, almost no commercial usage; O = Oppressed; S = Suppressed; I = Intermediate; CD = Co-dominant; D = Dominant.
Figura 3. Frequências de fustes quanto à sua qualidade (A), e quanto à classe de dominância (B) em função do período para Swietenia macrophylla King em plantio homogêneo, na região Sudoeste do estado de Mato Grosso, Brasil, 2001–2013. SS1 = Fuste reto, sem galhos laterais, copa bem definida, tipicamente comercial; SS2 = Fuste reto, com galhos laterais, mas aproveitável comercialmente; SS3 = Alguma tortuosidade, sem galhos laterais e aproveitamento parcial; SS4 = Fuste tortuoso, com galhos laterais e pouco aproveitável comercialmente; SS5 = Tortuoso ou defeituoso, com galhos laterais, praticamente sem aproveitamento; O = Oprimida; S = Suprimida; I = Intermediária; CD = Co-dominante; D = Dominante.

The distribution of individuals in dominance classes, following the criteria established by Hosokawa and Souza (1987), was similar for the S. macrophylla trees, except for the 54th, 103rd and 115th months (Figure 3B). Until 42 months, the lack of dominant trees was associated with the natural decrease observed in density and the small diameter of the canopy, a feature of the species with the presence of leaves that grow directly from the stem. Thus, there was no light and space limitations, and, as a result, an absence of competition between individuals.

With regard to plant health, the S. macrophylla trees were healthy during the entire period of the study, without records of pests or diseases, even if the study region displays favourable weather conditions for the occurrence of Hypsipyla grandella (TAVERAS et al., 2004).

Many studies have been conducted to avoid or minimize the action of this shoot borer, such as: homogeneous low density plantations in areas of secondary vegetation (STEVENSON, 1927; SWABEY, 1941; MARIE, 1949; YARED; CARPANEZZI, 1981; OLIVEIRA, 2000; GROGAN et al., 2002); mixed or combined plantations of S. macrophylla with many species, Azadirachta indica A. Juss (SILVA et al., 2013), Eucalyptus urophylla S. T. Blake (GUIMARÃES NETO et al., 2004), Toona ciliata M. J. Roem (COSTA, 2000; BATISTA, 2005) and with many forest species for multiple use in the Amazon (SOUZA, 2008; LUNZ et al., 2009) have also been studied. However, in all of these studies, H. grandella occurred and caused damage.

Because this shoot borer selects its hosts due to the ability to seek and attack trees that release specific volatile materials (GRIJPMA, 1970), this would explain the ineffective results of combined or mixed plantations. On the other hand, Ribeiro (2010) stated that the cases of small S. macrophylla plantations that do not suffer borer attacks are rare, most likely because they fit in escape areas where the occurrence of the pest is not found.

The above hypothesis could explain the results found. On the other hand, Cedrela fissilis Vell occurs in the region, which was also experimentally planted approximately 400 m from the S. macrophylla region, and this plantation has displayed the damage typical of the shoot borer in the apical meristem. Thus, other studies must take place in order to verify a possible genetic resistance. In a complementary way, new plots must be established in the region to confirm the area as an escape area, considering that S. macrophylla is not indigenous to the region and its natural occurrence is recorded in a region over 150 km away.

Therefore, with the development recorded and the quality of stem shapes, the lack of H. grandella occurrence and the possibility to apply in forest plantations techniques for homogeneous S. macrophylla plantations to increase the development and quality of the trees, emphasize the importance of new studies to assess the region as an escape area from the pest and to study the genetic features of such trees.


CONCLUSION

Swietenia macrophylla King displays potential for homogeneous plantations in south western Mato Grosso State, with development above average when compared to plantations in other regions. Until 152 months of age, no plant health problems were recorded, in addition to a lack of action from the borer Hypsipyla grandella Zeller, and the region may be considered as an escape area.


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