Panama's native tree species excel in infertile tropical soils

Teak, the most valuable species for tropical reforestation, often performs poorly in the acid soils of steeply sloping land in the tropics. As human population skyrockets and land becomes a scarce resource, balancing tradeoffs between reforestation, conservation, water availability and carbon storage becomes paramount. In a recent publication from the Smart Reforestation Program, Smithsonian scientists and collaborators including the Panama Canal Authority confirm that native tree species performed very well in field trials and would be preferable to teak in this situation.