Resource Details

Large-scale Ecological Restoration of Degraded Tropical Forest Lands: The Potential Role of Timber Plantations

Literature: Journal Articles

Lamb, D. 1998, "Large-scale Ecological Restoration of Degraded Tropical Forest Lands: The Potential Role of Timber Plantations", Restoration Ecology, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 271-279

Contact Info

Corresponding author:


  • Cooperative Research Center, Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Management and Botany Department, University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia


Restoration Ecology

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  • In this article, the author offers suggestions for how timber plantations can be designed to both yield timber and improve biodiversity on cleared and degraded lands.
  • From the design perspective, this article presents plantation layouts that include more diversity in species and positioning of trees.
  • Next the author discusses the value native trees can have in plantations with social and ecological goals beyond only high-volume production. The advantages, disadvantages an impediments to implementing native species reforestation are discussed. 
  • Additionally, the author presents advantages to understory development to soil erosion control and biodiversity along with potential problems with competition between the canopy classes. 
  • This article presents data which suggests that plantations, especially exotic monocultures, have lower wildlife diversity than more mixed plantations natural forests. 
  • Finally, the article describes how managing for species rich plantations can still allow the plantation to be managed for harvesting, for even more biodiversity, for selective logging, and for productive forests that are still structurally complex and multi-layered ecosystems. 
  • The author suggests that by focusing on multiple objectives, unlike a single objective of productivity, tropical plantations can more likely meet a wider range of ecological, social, and economic goals.

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