Sustaining Tropical Forest Resources: Reforestation of Degraded Lands

Sustaining Tropical Forest Resources: Reforestation of Degraded Lands


This government report provides background material on tropical reforestation and discusses techniques to reforest degraded tropical lands. It considers species planting issues such as: native v. exotic species, monoculture v. polyculture, single purpose v. multipurpose trees, and genetic improvement and plant breeding.

Conclusions & Takeaways

At the time of publication, the authors noted that that industrial plantations are almost exclusively composed of exotic species and suggest that the use of native species is largely ignored. Yet, the authors describe benefits of native species use in industrial plantations. Techniques are described for selecting and preparing planting stock, preparing the land before planting, tree planting or direct seeding, protection and maintenance of trees after planting, For unique environmental conditions, such as arid lands, unproductive grasslands, mine spoils, and saline and alkaline lands, the authors provide additional techniques and considerations. Technological constraints identified include: shortage of planting stock; inadequate attention to collecting, testing, and distributing high quality seeds and clones; lack of information and research; and lack of trained staff.




U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment. 1983. Sustaining Tropical Forest Resources: Reforestation of Degraded Lands. Background Paper #1, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC


  • Center for Technology, Environment, and Development, Clark University