Resource Details

What is the state of tropical montane cloud forest restoration?

Literature: Books or Book Chapters Available at NO COST

Aide, T.M., Ruiz-Jaen, M.C., & Grau, H.R. 2010, "What is the state of tropical montane cloud forest restoration?"In Tropical Montane Cloud Forests: Science for Conservation and Management by Bruijnzeel, L.A., Scatena F.N., & Hamilton, L.S. (eds). Cambridge University Press, New York.

Contact Info

Corresponding Author:


  • University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA
  • Universidad Nacional de Tucuman, Tucuman, Argentina


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  • This article reviews barriers and opportunities for tropical montane cloud forest ecosystems which were previously deforested to begin recovery.
  • In recent years, agricultural and grazing lands in Latin America have been abandoned due to low productivity as well as rural to urban migration.
  • However, in many cases, land has not grown back with cloud forest species, but rather has remained dominated by non-forest vegetation (such as the grass Melinus minutiflora and fern Pteridium arachnoideum).
  • The authors discuss factors which control the rates of forest recovery and their management solutions, including soils, fire, seed dispersal, colonizing of pioneer species, and microhabitat conditions.
  • Competition with grass and ferns was determined to be the major factor limiting the initial stages of forest recovery, while limited seed dispersal of mature forest species was a problem in later stages of recovery.
  • The authors recommend that low-density grazing, manual removal, or planting fast-growing shade trees to reduce the competing vegetation and allow native plants to colonize. They also recommend the establishment of a nursery of mature forest species to plant on the site after the herbaceous cover has been controlled.
  • They express that in some abandoned lands, natural regeneration will occur, but in others active restoration could help speed up the recovery process.
  • Finally, they recommend that restoration projects incorporate actions to promote positive feedbacks by which some parts of the regeneration further advance others; for example, increases in forest cover and connectivity can lead to decreased fire frequency and increased seed dispersal, which further advances recovery.

Geographical Region

  • Andean Region
  • General
  • Ecosystems

  • Montane Forest
  • Country

  • Colombia
  • General
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