The Inga species that we are trialing

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Three Inga species from the community of Palacios (from left to right): I. velutina, an undescribed species and I. nobilis. Pencil for scale!

Our strategy for choosing the Inga species that we are trialing is to focus on native species. This ensures that we maximize the biodiversity that will associate with the trees once established. It also avoids the risk of introducing an exotic species which then becomes an invasive weed. We are lucky in that there are over 300 species of Inga in Latin America and well over 20 within the Bolivian Amazon.  While we may look spoilt for choice we do, however, need to ensure that the species we select are fast-growing, have thick relatively large leaves and will grow to become medium-sized trees. Also that we can locate and harvest sufficient numbers of seeds to produce several thousand seedlings. The result has been that we have focused on three species: Inga edulis, I. velutina and an undescribed newly discovered species.

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Inga sp. at the San Jose Community. This is one of the species that we are trialing and is a tree of ca 25 m. If you look closely you can see somebody halfway up the tree wielding 10 m long pruners. We collected ca 2,000 seeds from this tree

We collected seed of Inga edulis and our undescribed species but were unable to collect seed of all of our target species in October as most of the species fruit in March. We did seek out several seed-trees and will return to harvest them at that time.

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