Accelerating tropical forest restoration through the selective removal of pioneer species
This study presents initial findings on the impact of thinning on recovery of a selectively logged secondary forest in Sumatra. The study tests the hypothesis that thinning of pioneer species will produce stands with greater proportional basal area of late-successional species, effectively accelerating succession of the stand.
research goals & methods
The study implemented three different thinning intensities and a control site. Permanent plots were used to assess the effectiveness of the treatments in modifying species composition and canopy openness as well as to measure the growth of pioneers and late-successional stems. Although the study only presented findings from the first 2 years after treatment, this is the most important time period for understanding the long-term impact of thinning. The authors plan to continue monitoring the experiment for at least 30 years.
conclusions & takeaways
The study found that overall stand composition shifted in favor of late-successional species, but these species only experienced enhanced growth in the low intensity thinning treatment. In sites with greater thinning intensity, early successional species showed greater growth advantage. These findings suggest that thinning is a practical option for manipulating stand composition and potentially accelerating natural regeneration.
Accelerating tropical forest restoration through the selective removal of pioneer species. Forest Ecology and Management. 2016;381:209–216. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2016.09.020..
- Centre for Conservation Science, Royal Society for Protection of Birds, UK
- PT Restorasi Ekosistem Indonesia, Indonesia
- World Agroforestry Centre, East & Southern Africa Regional Office, Lusaka, Zambia