Resource Details

Approaches to classifying and restoring degraded tropical forests for the anticipated REDD+ climate change mitigation mechanism

Literature: Journal Articles Available at NO COST

Sasaki N., Asner G.P., Knorr W., Durst P.B., Priyadi H.R., Putz F.E. 2011, "Approaches to classifying and restoring degraded tropical forests for the anticipated REDD+ climate change mitigation mechanism", iForest, vol 4, pp. 1-6.

Contact Info

Corresponding Author:


  • Graduate School of Applied Informatics, University of Hyogo, 650-0044 Kobe (Japan)
  • Harvard Forest, Harvard University, MA-01366 Petersham (USA)
  • Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, CA-94305 Stanford (USA)
  • QUEST, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, BS81RJ Bristol (UK)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok (Thailand)
  • Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), P.O. Box 0113, BOCBD Bogor 16000 (Indonesia)
  • Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 49, SE-230 53 Alnarp (Sweden)
  • Department of Biology, University of Florida, FL 32611 Gainesville (USA).


Available at no cost: iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


  • 20% of tropical forest area was logged from 2000-2005, and 50% of tropical forest area retained 50% or less cover (this qualifies as degradation but not deforestation).
  • UNFCC defines "forest" as = >20% cover; they define "tree" as any plant with capacity to grow larger than 3m.
  • Forest degradation (while still stopping short of reaching deforestation) can release 26.3-173.0 MgC/ ha carbon.
  • Authors suggest that slightly degraded forests can be restored by reducing logging intensity, avoiding slopes and environmentally sensitive areas, lengthening cutting cycles, and using reduced impact logging (RIL) techniques -- these techniques can double the recovery rate of the forest (in terms of biomass accumulation).
  • Moderately degraded forests (removal of greater than the allowable harvest level, due to poor enforcement) are more susceptible to degradation from fire, grazing, disturbance, etc. -- these forests need to be restored with more active silvicultural techniques to protect intermediate sized trees, such as liberation (removing lianas, etc).
  • In highly degraded and critically degraded forests, plantings will be necessary (along with assisted natural regeneration - fire management, grazing restrictions, agro-succession).


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