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:


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


Climate Lab

Full Access to this document is available for no cost at the link above.


Selecting the link above redirects this page to the article on the journal website where the online material can be purchased or accessed if with subscription. For more information on access, see sidebar.


  • 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

  • General
  • Country

  • General
  • This database is a work in progress, and we need your input to keep it up to date. Feel free to contact ELTI at to provide information on your own work as well as other projects and literature currently missing from the database.


    ELTI is a joint initiative of:
    Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute