Regeneration of Native Plant Species in Restored Forests on Degraded Lands in Singapore

Regeneration of Native Plant Species in Restored Forests on Degraded Lands in Singapore


This article presents the natural regeneration of woody species in the understory of 1 year-old and 4-year old plantation in Singapore.

Research Goals & Methods

Although the the site was cleared, except for remnant trees,before planting, the rootmatt of the fern Dicranopteris was left in the plots. One plot within each site had the rootmat manually removed. Regeneration of species greater than 10 cm in length were counted and identified.

Conclusions & Takeaways

The authors found significantly more diversity of regenerating woody plants in the four-year old site than the one-year-old site. The one-year-old sites had significantly more abundance of herbaceous sedges, grasses, ferns, and vines. In 1 year-old sites, the most prolific woody species were light-demanding pioneers including Macaranga heynei, Mallotus paniculatus, Trema tomentosa and Acacia auriculiformis, which grew up to 2m in one year. In the 4 year-old plosts, M. heynei, Macaranga conifera, and M. paniculatus had were part of the canopy along with the planted trees. In the 4 year-old sites, diversity was high with 73 species observed; however, the majority of those species are small-seeded, medium stature secondary forest species. Dipterocarp species were not found in the plots. The authors assert that over time canopy closure can control the growth of herbaceous species and promote woody regeneration. They also suggest that interplanting late-successional species that are tolerant of initial open conditions can help ensure late successional species presence later in the plantation.



Shono K, Davies SJ, Kheng CYen. Regeneration of native plant species in restored forests on degraded lands in Singapore. Forest Ecology and Management. 2006;237:574–582. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2006.10.003.


  • Center for Tropical Forest Science – Arnold Arboretum Asia Program
  • National Parks Board, Singapore