Douterlungne, D., S.I. Levy-Tacher, D.J. Golicher and F. Roman Danobeytia
The Lacandon Maya of Chiapas, southern Mexico, have traditionally used a long fallow rotational slash-and-burn system for maize production in small clearings within tropical forest. Although successional processes usually lead to rapid restoration of abandoned fields, the invasive fern, Pteridium aquilinium (commonly known as Bracken), can block natural succession. The Lacandon are aware of this and use the fast-growing tree Balsa (Ochroma pyramidale) to accelerate succession toward mature forest. We carried out a 12-month-long experiment in a Bracken-infested area to test the effectiveness of the Lacandon’s low-input restoration techniques.