Exotic Eucalypts: From Demonized Trees to Allies of Tropical Forest Restoration?
Timber, being a product in high demand globally, presents a lucrative market opportunity, and restoration efforts could potentially generate income through the targeted extraction of this material. While the incorporation of commercially valuable exotic trees might incentivize farmers to participate in restoration projects, it raises significant ecological concerns among experts.
The authors share findings obtained from seven years of experimental investigations conducted at three locations within the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The objective is to evaluate the effects of integrating exotic eucalypts as a transitional phase in tropical forest restoration on the accumulation of aboveground biomass, the regeneration of native woody species, and the financial feasibility of such practices.
The detrimental impacts associated with eucalypts on the growth and natural rejuvenation of native trees are often contingent on factors such as the production system, landscape structure, soil, and climate in the cultivation environment, rather than inherent properties of eucalypts themselves. Within the Atlantic Forest region of Brazil, exotic eucalypts have the potential to serve as valuable assets in tropical forest restoration. Therefore, their utilization and associated investment opportunities should be regarded as viable components within the array of options endorsed by both public and private funding and policies.
Exotic eucalypts: From demonized trees to allies of tropical forest restoration?Abstract. Journal of Applied Ecology. 2020;57(1):55 - 66. doi:10.1111/jpe.v57.110.1111/1365-2664.13513.