Stand basal area as an index of competitiveness in timber intercropping
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Farmers intending to intercrop timber need to be able to make informed decisions about tree species and planting density, with a full understanding of the tradeoffs they are facing. A model with understandable parameters and functions "a simplified version of the complex models used by researchers" would greatly increase farmers capacity to obtain optimal benefits from intercropping. Studies in an upland region of the Philippines measure growth and intercropping tradeoffs for three popular timber species (Eucalyptus deglupta, E. torelliana, and Paraserianthes falcataria). The experiment results showed a strong negative correlation between crop yield and stand basal area. The authors discuss reasons why stand basal area may be the best indicator for use by farmers to evaluate competition between trees and crops and tradeoffs that effect their farming profitability.