SUMMARYSite and soil characteristics associated with existing plantings of whitewood (Endospermum medullosum Euphorbiaceae) were characterised across Espiritu Santo Island in Vanuatu. Two hundred, generally small (most commonly around 0.5 ha), plantations dominated by whitewood have been planted across the eastern side of the island. These plantations range up to 20 years in age and provide a guide to the expected growth rates of whitewood in plantation in those areas. Site and growth data collected from a range of those plots were used to determine the characteristics associated with the most productive plantations. This association of site variables with growth was correlated with pre-existing resource mapping to estimate the area and locations of land suitable (in terms of sustainable productivity) for whitewood plantation on the island. Some of the characteristics used in that estimation included soil depth, drainage, soil erodibility, slope and existing land use. Using this method it was estimated that around 33 000 ha of land on Espiritu Santo, currently not used or native forest, is highly suitable for whitewood development.
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