Regeneration Status and Role of Traditional Ecological Knowledge for Cloud Forest Ecosystem Restoration in Ecuador
Forests are a crucial component of global biodiversity. Ecuador has a long history of deforestation and forest degradation. Historical contexts such as colonization and governmental initiatives have shaped and will continue to shape the way people and forests interact. Emerging evidence supports the integration of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) into ecological restoration practices in order to more effectively manage natural resources while incorporating the needs of local communities. The authors use this study to evaluate human disturbance impacts on cloud forest species and what TEK in the area can provide to aid in restoration.
Goals and Methods
This study is conducted in Cosanga, Napo Province in the Andes of northeastern Ecuador. Remnant forest patches are surveyed for regeneration and chosen with a variety of sources of local knowledge and protections. The authors measure factors such as canopy gaps, species richness and abundance, and an important disturbance indicator species Chusquea sp. TEK is analyzed with ethno-ecological surveys via in depth interviews of local informants.
Conclusions and Takeaways
The authors conclude that canopy gaps in these forests are hindered from regeneration due to Chusquea sp. as well as degraded soil conditions. TEK provides valuable information for ecological restoration in these gaps via species selection for restoration planting. The authors state that TEK and ecological science-based practices are synergistic and the incorporation of both into restoration design and application is vital for future ecological restoration.
Regeneration Status and Role of Traditional Ecological Knowledge for Cloud Forest Ecosystem Restoration in Ecuador. Forests. 2022;13(1):92. doi:10.3390/f13010092..