Ecological Considerations for Using Dipterocarps for Restoration of Lowland Rainforest in Southeast Asia
In this article, the authors present ecological factors that should be considered when engaging in dipterocarp forest restoration in Southeast Asia. Because many dipterocarps are insect-pollinated, have poor seed dispersal, have low density of reproductive adults, and have recalcitrant seeds, planting of nursery-reared tree seedlings could increase the ability of dipterocarp forests to regenerate.
Conclusions & Takeaways
To overcome the competition with the invasive grass Imperata cylindrica, the authors recommend planting light-demanding nurse species followed by underplanting with dipterocarp species. Due to the seed and reproductive problems of dipterocarps, the establishment of nurseries have not been highly successful. Additionally, the habitat fragmentation of dipterocarp forests has led to elevated inbreeding of certain populations. Wildlings (or seedlings found in the forest) can be beneficial, but there are possible negative impact to natural regeneration in the forest. The authors recommend the creation of scientifically-informed seed orchards established from genetically diverse seedlings and wildlings. Finally, inoculation of soils with appropriate mycorrhizal fungi and post-planting maintenance can further improve the potential for success of dipterocarp forest restoration projects.
Ecological considerations for using dipterocarps for restoration of lowland rainforest in Southeast Asia. Biodiversity and Conservation. 2009;19:1137–1151. doi:10.1007/s10531-009-9772-6..
- Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems, Ecosystem Management, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland