Rehabilitation of Degraded Tropical Forest Lands

Rehabilitation of Degraded Tropical Forest Lands


This article discusses the options for the rehabilitation of degraded land on high rainfall areas. It suggests that it is both environmentally and economically disadvantageous to let the degraded land remain in an unproductive and rapidly eroding state.

Research Goals & Methods

The study considers four types of degraded lands: Barren land, grassland, low secondary forest, and degraded logged forest. The author provides explanations of the causes of degradation, methods for rehabilitating the sites, and recommendation for the implementation of rehabilitation measures.

Conclusions & Takeaways

For barren land, the author recommends stabilization crops (including exotics if necessesary), soil tratments, protection from fire and grazing, and establishment of multipurpose trees. For grassland, the author recommends the protection from fire and grazing and the establishment of forest plantations, agroforestry, and desired species, especially those that fix nitrogen and have deep tap roots. For low secondary forest, the author recommends planting of mixed species (which can include agroforestry species) to improve the soil and give economic benefits. Shade tolerant species are important as well as the exclusion of heavy browsing. For degraded logged forest, the author recommends enrichment planting and rapid establishment of vegetative cover on cleared areas.



Lovejoy TE. Rehabilitation of degraded tropical forest lands. The Environmentalist. 1985;5:13–20. doi:10.1007/bf02239863.


  • World Wildlife Fund, Washington, D.C., USA
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), Commission on Ecology