Beyond Deforestation: Restoring Forests and Ecosystem Services on Degraded Lands
In this review, the author presents the various stages of topical forest restoration. She describes a spectrum of reforestation approaches varying by time, cost, and biodiversity conservation value.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The approaches that replicate more natural processes (natural regeneration, assisted natural regeneration) are only possible on sites where the degradation is low enough for regeneration to occur. In areas of degraded soils, plantations of carefully selected trees can help rejuvenate the ecosystem and provide the environment needed for natural regeneration in the understory. In many cases the process of natural forest succession that are not directed by people can alter successional pathways creating forests that are unpredictable or divergent from human interests. In those cases, more active rehabilitation, or guided reconstruction of forests, might be necessary. Comparative studies evaluating the effect of these various restoration techniques can guide future decision-making.
Beyond Deforestation: Restoring Forests and Ecosystem Services on Degraded Lands. Science. 2008;320:1458–1460. doi:10.1126/science.1155365..
- Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA