|Casuarinas: Nitrogen-Fixing Trees for Adverse Sites (BOSTID, 1984, 114 p.)|
This book highlights eighteen species of casuarina, a group of underexploited Australasian trees that could have exceptional potential in reforesting difficult terrain in many parts of the world. The idea for the study arose at a 1980 meeting of the Commission for the Application of Science to Agriculture, Forestry, and Aquaculture - a commission of the International Council of Scientific Unions - when Max Day was asked to propose a project in forestry for Third World countries, emphasizing trees for firewood, soil protection, and fodder production.
Dr. Day's suggestion for a joint study of casuarinas interested the U.S. National Research Council (NRC) because in 1980 it had briefly mentioned the promise of casuarinas in its report, Firewood Crops: Shrub and Tree Species for Energy Production
It is not our purpose here to recommend casuarinas over all other possible reforestation species. No single species or group of species can provide the answer to the vast problem of tropical deforestation. Instead, we want to encourage broad consideration for increased planting of casuarinas.
Whenever governments, researchers, corporations, or private landowners are attempting to replenish their tropical lands with trees, they should carefully assess native species; the best-known fast-growing species such as pines, eucalypts, and gmelina; and additionally, the lesser-known exotics such as leucaena, casuarinas, acacias, and calliandra. (These lesser-known species and others are described in companion reports listed below.) When all such species are included in trials, the best combination for a given site will become apparent, misplaced enthusiasm will be avoided, and some of today's obscure species, such as most of these casuarinas, may become major resources.
This study was done in cooperation with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) of Australia, which convened a meeting of casuarina experts in Canberra, Australia,in August 1981. Some 43 delegates attended from 10 countries. After the conference, the study participants stayed for two days of discussion and the drafting of the statements that led to this report.
The participants are grateful to the organizations that made this study possible. CSIRO hosted the conference; the Australian Development Assistance Bureau sponsored a participant from Papua New Guinea; the International Development Research Centre (Ottawa, Canada) provided travel support for the participants from India, Thailand, Egypt, and Papua New Guinea; the Government of Zimbabwe supported the two participants from that country; and the U.S. Agency for International Development supported the participants from the United States, Philippines, Senegal, and Norfolk Island.
The Advisory Committee on Technology Innovation of the NRC Board on Science and Technology for International Development (see page 113) is assessing scientific and technological advances that might prove especially applicable to problems of developing countries.
This report is one of an ACTI series Innovations in Tropical
Reforestation. Other titles include:
· Leucaena: Promising Forage and Tree Crop for the Tropics (1977)
· Firewood Crops: Shrub and Tree Species for Energy Production Volume I (1980)
· Sowing Forests from the Air (1981)
· Mangium and Other Fast-Growing Acacias for the Humid Tropics (1983)
· Calliandra: A Versatile Small Tree for the Humid Tropics (1983)
· Firewood Crops: Shrub and Tree Species for Energy Production Volume II (1983)
Information on promising fast-growing, nitrogen-fixing trees is
also contained in Tropical Legumes: Resources for the Future (1979). An updated
edition of the 1977 leucaena book is in preparation.
These activities are supported largely by the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID). This study was sponsored by AID's Office of the Science Advisor, which also made possible the free distribution of this report in developing countries and to members of the development community.
How to cite this report:
National Research Council. 1984. Casuarinas: Nitrogen-Fixing Trees for Adverse Sites.
National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.