Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

David B. Bray

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Mahadev Bhat

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Joel Heinen

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Date of Defense



Tree management practices in the tropical dry forest region of Nicaragua were examined to determine opportunities and factors influencing tree-planting initiatives and forest recovery within the agricultural matrix. A 217.11 ha tree inventory and 44 social surveys were conducted in three rural communities. The inventory found 88 species, 66.68% were native, and 70 valued for multiple uses. Farmers’ reasons for maintaining trees varied, emphasizing live fencing, wood, and fruit. The landscape also contains a tree plantation and a riparian forest, and the origins and management of these tree cover components of the landscape are also considered. Tree planting interventions should supplement extant stakeholder motivation with technical training and basic materials only as explicitly requested by participants, rather than imposing costly or inappropriate project preferences. Initiatives should also focus on smallholders and on multi-use native species suggested by stakeholders in order to maximize the economic, social and environmental benefits provided.





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