Catalyzing native forest regeneration on degraded tropical lands

Catalyzing native forest regeneration on degraded tropical lands


Forest clearing, forest degradation, and the deterioration of land productivity due to inappropriate management is a major problem in the tropics. While traditionally, restoration of forest lands abandoned from human use has relied on natural forest regeneration, this paper explores the potential of plantations to catalyze forest regeneration in the tropics.

research goals & methods

Prior studies have shown that plantations of early-successional species can aid in the development of a diverse secondary forest by attracting seed dispersers and creating sheltered microclimates suitable for regeneration. The paper represents key conclusions from a workshop in 1996 in Washington, DC, discussing the results of those and other studies.

conclusions & takeaways

The relative effect of plantations increases with increased site degradation and in wetter sites, and decreases with distance from seed sources. Greater structural complexity of the plantation has a positive effect on biodiversity of the secondary forest, suggesting that mixed-species plantations are advantageous.


Parrotta JA, Turnbull JW, Jones N. Catalyzing native forest regeneration on degraded tropical lands. Forest Ecology and Management. 1997;99:1–7. doi:10.1016/s0378-1127(97)00190-4.


  • International Institute of Tropical Forestry, USDA Forest Service, Rı́o Piedras, PR, USA
  • Center for International Forestry Research, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • 1 Bradfield Avenue, Bridgend, UK