Resource Details

Barriers to lowland tropical forest restoration in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia

Literature: Journal Articles

Aide, T.M. & Cavelier, J. 1994, "Barriers to lowland tropical forest restoration in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia", Restoration Ecology, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 219-229.


  • P.O. Box 23360, Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00931, USA
  • Departamento de Ciencias Biologicas, Universidad de los Andres, AA 4976, Santa Fe de Bogota, Colombia


University of Puerto Rico

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Restoration Ecology

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Species Info

  • Cochlospermum vitifolium
  • Phoebe cynnamomifolia
  • Cupania americana
  • Xylopia aromanticana
  • Ochroma pyramidale
  • Clusia rosea
  • Vismia baccifera
  • Parinari pachyphyllum
  • Toxicodendrum striata
  • Lonchocarpus bunctatus


  • This article examines the major barriers to forest restoration in the abandoned pastureland surrounding three different forest fragments (0.1, 0.4, and 3.3 ha) in the Rio Rancheria watershed of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Colombia.
  • The following barriers were considered: seed source, seed predation, competition from grasses, microclimate, soil quality, and fire.
  • Woody species which established in the pasture were found to be within 2 meters of the forest fragment and were dominated by the species prevalent in the fragment’s edge (Clusia rosea,Psidium cautadum, and Myrsine sp.).
  • Seed rain and the seed bank were observed to decrease dramatically between the forest interior and the pasture; at a distance of 20 meters out from the forest edge, no seeds were found from seed rain.
  • Seed survivorship was measured to be higher in the pasture as opposed to the forest, with results varying somewhat by species.
  • Soils between the forest fragments and the pastures were found to differ significantly; forest soil had a higher cation exchange capacity, and higher exchangeable calcium, magnesium and potassium, while pasture soil had higher sodium levels.
  • Five tree species planted in the two soil types and grown under the same conditions showed higher growth rates of all species in the forest soil.
  • Higher germination of tree species was observed in pastures with grasses present, possibly due to the favorable microclimate provided by the grass.
  • The authors exert that forest restoration should take into account the observed barriers to natural forest regeneration, namely low seed dispersal, soil quality and threat from fire.

Geographical Region

  • Andean Region
  • Country

  • Colombia
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