Maximizing biodiversity conservation and carbon stocking inrestored tropical forests

Maximizing biodiversity conservation and carbon stocking inrestored tropical forests


Ecological restoration plays a critical role in fragmented mega-diverse regions, particularly for endangered species with low dispersal rates. Species with impoverished populations, limited dispersal capacity, and important functionsas food resources for animals should be prioritized for active reintroduction in order to increase the conservation value ofrestored forests. However, seedlings from these species are often hard to find or too costly to include in many restoration projects.

Goals and methods:

The goals of this paper are to assess the representation of animal-dispersed trees in restoration projects in terms of their taxonomic and functional diversity, to compare the proportion of medium- and large-seeded, animal-dispersed trees planted for forest restoration with nearby natural forest remnants, and to evaluate how this difference affects potential carbon stocking. Additionally, the paper aims to investigate how seed price is influenced by seed size, dispersal syndrome, and frequency of species use in restored forests. 

conclusions and Takeaways:

The authors found that animal-dispersed trees with larger seeds tend to have higher seed prices, yet are underrepresented in the seedlings acquired for restoration plantations. This reduced abundance of medium- and/or large-seeded, animal-dispersed trees leads to declines in simulated potential carbon stocking. The paper highlights the need for policy interventions to encourage greater representation of large-seeded, animal-dispersed tree species in Atlantic Forest restorations to recover tree functional diversity, plant-frugivore mutualistic interactions, and carbon stocking in multi-species tropical forest restoration plantings.



Brancalion PHS, Bello C, Chazdon RL, et al. Maximizing biodiversity conservation and carbon stocking in restored tropical forests. Conservation Letters. 2018;11(4). doi:10.1111/conl.12454.