Tropical Montane Forest Restoration in Costa Rica: Overcoming Bariers to Dispersal and Establishment
The article addressed different types of environmental and ecological factors limiting forest regeneration on a tropical montane abandoned pasture in Costa Rica, and the subsequent forest restoration strategies that could be feasible. The authors sought to answer the following questions: 1) What factors limit tropical forest recovery in abandoned pasture? and (2) How can we use this information to design strategies to facilitate ecosystem recovery?
Conclusions & Takeaways
The study found that abandoned pasture consisted of mostly shrubs and patches of remnant native tree species, which made the replanting of more native species effective. The remnant trees provided a “safe haven” for dispersed seeds by creating a microhabitat and shielding seeds and seedlings from high light and hot temperatures. Other environmental factors were also considered, such as competition, nutrient availability, soil compaction and water stress. The replanting of native tree species was the most effective strategy, since it increased the dispersal and establishment of forest seeds due to animal, mainly birds, attraction. However, herbivory needs to be taken into account if high establishment rates are wanted. Apart from providing a habitat for recruited seeds and seedlings, remnant trees also shade shrubs and reduce the competition between the shrubs and the seedlings. Before any restoration strategy is practiced, the authors stress it is important to know the ecology of the area being considered.
Tropical Montane Forest Restoration in Costa Rica: Overcoming Barriers to Dispersal and Establishment. Restoration Ecology. 2000;8:339–349. doi:10.1046/j.1526-100x.2000.80049.x..
- Department of Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA, U.S.A
- Department of Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA, U.S.A.