Barriers to Lowland Tropical Forest Restoration in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia
This article examines the major barriers to forest restoration in the abandoned pastureland surrounding three forest fragments in the Rio Rancheria watershed of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Colombia. These barriers include: seed source, seed predation, competition from grasses, microclimate, soil quality, and fire.
Goals & Methods
The study was conducted in the Quebrada Yepes Watershed. The authors examined land use history, climate, soil, vegetation, and seed bank and dispersal of the region. They also compared seed predation between forests and pastures sites, the efffects of three treatments (strips, fire, and control) on seedling establishment and growth, and, finally, the effects of eliminating fire.
Conclusions & Takeaways
Woody species which established in the pasture were found to be within 2 meters of the forest fragment and were dominated by the species prevalent in the fragment’s edge (Clusia rosea, Psidium cautadum, and Myrsine sp.). Seed rain and the seed bank were observed to decrease dramatically between the forest interior and the pasture; at a distance of 20 meters out from the forest edge, no seeds were found from seed rain. Higher germination of tree species was observed in pastures with grasses present, possibly due to the favorable microclimate provided by the grass. The authors emphasize that forest restoration should take into account the observed barriers to natural forest regeneration, namely low seed dispersal, soil quality and threat from fire.
Barriers to Lowland Tropical Forest Restoration in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. Restoration Ecology. 1994;2:219–229. doi:10.1111/j.1526-100x.1994.tb00054.x..
- Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, USA
- Departamento de Ciencias Biologicas, Universidad de los Andres, Santa Fe de Bogota, Colombia