Abstract

Phenological studies generate information that contributes knowledge on relationships of species and abiotic components of ecosystems, availability of food for animals and regeneration of forest cover. Crescentia alata is an abundant tree species in tropical dry forests; its ecological, cultural and economic importance has been widely recognized and for this reason there is an interest in reproducing this species, but previously it is necessary to understand its detailed phenological development. The aim of this work was to describe C. alata phenology in dry Costa Rican forests. Twenty reproductive trees were selected at the Santa Rosa National Park to observe phenophases (leaf flushing, flower production, and fructification) during 14 months from 2015 to 2016. Most foliage was observed in June, maximal floration in June and October, and the highest ripe-fruit number in January. Phenological patterns in C. alata were related to common climatic factors as rainfall, temperature, and relative humidity; other factors considered were wind speed, and sun radiation. The most significant phenological data registered for C. alata in this work may contribute to a better management and conservation of this species

Keywords: Jicaro tree; phenophases; flowering; fructification; seasonality; climatic conditions; Santa Rosa National Park, tropical dry forest