Resource Details

Beyond Deforestation: Restoring Forests and Ecosystem Services on Degraded Lands

Literature: Journal Articles

Chazdon, R.L. 2008, "Beyond Deforestation: Restoring Forests and Ecosystem Services on Degraded Lands", Science, vol. 320, no. 5882, pp. 1458-1460.

Contact Info

Corresponding Author: chazdon@uconn.edu

Affiliations

  • Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269–3043, USA

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Description

  • In this review, the author presents the various stages of topical forest restoration. She describes a spectrum of reforestation approaches that go from a point of low time and cost and high biodiversity and ecosystem services value to a point of high time and cost and low biodiversity and ecosystem services value.
  • That order is 1) natural regeneration, 2) assisted natural regeneration, 3) reforestation with native trees, 4) commercial reforestation/agroforestry, 5) rehabilitation, and 6) reclamation.
  • The approaches that replicate more natural processes (natural regeneration, assisted natural regeneration) are only possible on sites where the degradation is low enough for regeneration to occur. In areas of degraded soils, plantations of carefully selected trees can help rejuvenate the ecosystem and provide the environment needed for natural regeneration in the understory.
  • The author asserts that in many cases the process of natural forest succession that are not directed by people can alter successional pathways creating forests that are unpredictable or divergent from human interests.
  • In those cases, more active rehabilitation, or guided reconstruction of forests, might be necessary.
  • She suggests that comparative studies evaluating the effect of these various restoration techniques can guide future decision-making.

Geographical Region

  • General
  • Ecosystems

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