General

Agro-Successional Restoration as a Strategy to Facilitate Tropical Forest Recovery

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Tropical forest restoration to address resource degradation and climate change is a growing trend in tropical regions. However, a lack of funding and provision for human livelihoods often hinders forest restoration projects. Traditional agroforestry systems are often seen as a way to connect farmers to forest restoration, and the article outlines existing agroforestry models. 

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Creating Woodland Islets to Reconcile Ecological Restoration, Conservation, and Agricultural Land Use

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The paper recognizes that there exists an agriculture and conservation paradox - agriculture is frequently in conflict with the other environmental services that forests provide. Thus, the authors review existing approaches to woodland restoration and consider the use of the woodland islets approach. 

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In Equal Measure: A User Guide to Gender Analysis in Agroforestry

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This guide provides tools for  practioners working with rural communities in tropical countries. It describes how gender roles and responsibiities play a significant role in adoption and development of agroforestry systems.

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Succession and Management of Tropical Dry Forests in the Americas: Review and New Perspectives

Background

This article emphasizes the importance of understanding of successional processes in tropical dry forests. It provides an overview of the current knowledge  of the ecology of tropical dry forest ecosystems and discusses management implications . The authors describe rapidly increasing degradation and destruction of these ecosystems and identify gaps in knowledge to be addressed by future research.

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Effects of Invasive Alien Plants on Fire Regimes

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This article considers how  invasive plant species affect native ecosystems by altering fuel properties, fire behavior and fire regime characteristics. These may impact the ability of a site to restore to its previous state.

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Four Opportunities for Studies of Ecological Succession

Background

The authors introduce two approaches to the  study of forest succession: 1) Standardized experimental manipulation - removal or addition of abiotic and biotic factors - across ecological gradients can help elucidate the drivers of succession and 2) the use of meta-analyses of successional data improve the ability to observe temporal changes across broader geographical scales.

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A Place for Alien Species in Ecosystem Restoration

Background

This article makes the case that non-native, or "alien,"  species may be useful in some restoration efforts, and should not be overlooked or completely condemned because they are non-native. Such species can provide ecological and socioeconomic services and in some cases speed up successional processes. 

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The Role of Seed Banks in Vegetation Dynamics and Restoration of Dry Tropical Ecosystems

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This paper reviews studies on seed banks in tropical dry forests, comparing them with wet tropical and subtropical vegetation.

Research Goals & Methods

Seed banks in dry tropical forests tend to be low and they are density dependant on moisture levels of the area in question. Subtropical seed banks had similar values to dry tropical forests. Majority of the seeds are from pioneer forests.

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Seeding ecological restoration of tropical forests: Priority setting under REDD+

Background

Tropical deforestation continues to be the major driver of biodiversity loss and a considerable contributor to climate change. Increasing numbers of forest-dependent rural poor rely on degraded forest for their livelihoods. Ecological restoration of tropical forests has the potential to not only contribute to biodiversity conservation and climate mitigation, but also poverty alleviation. REDD+ provides a potentially powerful mechanism for supporting ecological restoration of tropical forests in developing countries.

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Edge-Effects Drive Tropical Forest Fragments Towards an Early-Successional System

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This paper argues that edge effects trigger a rapid and inevitable successional process that drives most remaining neotropical forest fragments towards a persistent early-successional system.

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