Long-Term Studies

The potential of secondary forests to restore biodiversity of the lost forests in semi-deciduous West Africa

BACKGROUND:

The human population in West Africa has increased considerably over the past four decades, leading to a high demand for food. This has led to the conversion of vast forest lands to agricultural lands in the region. Degraded forest landscapes have the capacity to regain fertility and naturally regenerate, resulting in the widespread spread of secondary forests in West Africa. Despite the significant presence of secondary forests in the region, there is rare knowledge about forest successional stages and general dynamics.

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Carbon sequestration and biodiversity following 18 years of active tropical forest restoration

BACKGROUND:

Vast tropical forests have been degraded and converted to other land uses such as agriculture. Degraded forests can regenerate naturally to improve biodiversity and carbon sequestration. However, major degradation factors, such as wildfires, hinder natural regeneration. Forest restoration can play an essential role in such circumstances. Nonetheless, research on methods to increase carbon storage and improve the ecosystem function of tropical forests is limited.

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Carbon loss and removal due to forest disturbance and regeneration in the Amazon

Background:

Deforestation and forest degradation urges scientists to understand the dynamics of carbon loss and removal in the Amazon, particularly due to significant role of the Amazon rainforest in the global carbon cycle and the potential implications for climate change. By addressing this topic, the study aims to enhance our understanding of the Amazon's role in the global carbon cycle, provide insights into the spatial and temporal patterns of carbon loss and removal, and contribute valuable information for informing climate change mitigation strategies and tropical forest conservation efforts.

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Do primary rainforest tree species recruit into passively and actively restored tropical rainforest?

Background

In many restoration projects, recruitment is dominated by a low diversity of regionally-abundant pioneer species and species with small, easily dispersed seeds. These species are characteristic of secondary rainforest and do not include the far more diverse suite of species characteristic of the original, primary rainforest. As restoring ecosystem processes is one of the central goals of restoration, this raises the question of which, if any, of the available rainforest restoration methods may be used to promote the recruitment of primary rainforest species.

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Aboveground carbon responses to experimental and natural hurricane impacts in a subtropical wet forest in Puerto Rico

Background

Carbon sequestration is a major climate mitigating process. Tropical forests in particular sequester high amounts of carbon, however disturbance events such as storms can alter the ability of forests to sequester more carbon. Hurricanes create forest gaps and increase ground debris which both provide resources that may promote plant recruitment and growth.

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Disrupted montane forest recovery hinders biodiversity conservation in the tropical Andes

Background

In the U.N. Decade on Restoration, recovering degraded forests is a high priority. Andean montane forests are a biodiversity hotspot, storing large quantities of carbon, and providing many sources for human livelihood. Many parts of the Andean forests are recovering after agriculture abandonment, but it is not yet known how the dynamics of these recovery processes progress over time. Knowledge of forest regeneration trajectory is crucial for further restoration planning.

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Divergent litterfall nutrient responses to rainfall seasonality revealed through long-term observations in a tropical dry forest

Background

Forest litterfall can provide important nutrients to the soil for ecosystem health such as Phosphorus and Nitrogen. In water limited ecosystems rainfall often controls forest nutrient cycling. It is not yet understood how nutrient uptake of these nutrients is influenced by seasonal rainfall and how these litter nutrient contents change from year to year.

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Removing climbers more than doubles tree growth and biomass in degraded tropical forests

Background

Tree climbing plants such as lianas are known to inhibit forest recovery by outcompeting trees after disturbances. The removal of climbers is recognized as a viable forest restoration management practice, however no best practices are established yet due to lack of research repetition and synthesis.

Goals and Methods

The authors conduct a literature review on climber removal studies in tropical forests in order to quantify removal efficacy for promoting tree growth and increasing biomass.

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Forty years of community-based forestry: A review of its extent and effectiveness

Background

This report assesses the effectiveness of community-based forestry (CBF) over the past 40 years. Governments have been implementing programs such as participatory conservation, joint forest management, community forestry with partial or full devolution, and private ownership over several decades, and the authors assess the biophysical and social impacts of these programs, and outline the key lessons learnt during this time. 

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Long-term changes in liana loads and tree dynamics in a Malaysian forest

Background

Increasingly lianas are recognized as one of the most important growth form in seasonal tropical forest, yet there has been limited research that has studied the effects in other forests. This study discusses the effect of lianas on tree growth, reproduction, and survivorship in a Southeast Asian Dipterocarp forest.

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