Students Involved in PSP Re-Measurement
In late August, students of the University of Belize enrolled in the BSc. Natural Resources Management program were given the opportunity to gain firsthand experience in the re-measurement of permanent sample plots (PSP) established within silvopastoral systems (SPS).
Silvopastoral systems are the most prominent agroforestry practice in Belize. These systems comprise of 2 main components namely, trees and animals that are closely managed for the production of trees, tree products, forage and livestock. This practice of a single integrated system occurs in different forms mainly, live tree fences for pastures, timber plantations within pastures, and scattered trees within pasture lands. In 2011, a total of 11 SPS plots were established throughout the Cayo District under the Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza’s (CATIE) Finnfor project with the objectives of studying the potential of timber production through the proper management of natural regeneration within pasture lands, the systematization and analysis of traditional management given to timber trees with livestock and to promote the silvicultural management of timber with greater potential in the zone.
In early 2012, CATIE partnered with the ERI in an effort to train locals in the establishment and measurement of SPS plots and to ensure the continued re-measurement of the 11 plots already established in the Cayo District. In the months of July and August of this year, the ERI in collaboration with Mesoterra/CATIE and the Forest Department, led in the re-measurement of these 11 SPS plots. With the training and experience gained through the Finnfor/CATIE project both in country and abroad, botanist German Lopez took on the task to train UB students, Denver Cayetano, Kurt August and Daniel Smith in the re-measurement of PSP within silvopastoral plots. Students participated in fieldwork where they were exposed to the methodology and gained knowledge in the collection of forest mensuration data.