Resource Details

Seed rain under tree islands planted to restore degraded lands in a tropical agricultural landscape

Literature: Journal Articles

Cole, R.J., Holl, K.D., Zahawi, R.A., 2010. "Seed rain under tree islands planted to restore degraded lands in a tropical agricultural landscape." Ecological Applications, vol. 20, no. 5, pp. 1255–1269.

Contact Info



  • Environmental Studies Department, University of California, Santa Cruz, California 95064 USA
  • Las Cruces Biological Station, Organization for Tropical Studies, San Vito, Costa Rica


Ecological Applications

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Species Info

  • Terminalia Amazonia
  • Vochysia guatemalensis
  • Erythrina poeppigiana
  • Inga edulis
  • Heliocarpus appendiculatus
  • Cecropia peltata
  • Cecropia obtusifolia
  • Conostegia rufescens
  • Miconia trinervia
  • Conostegia xalapensis
  • Ulmus Mexicana


  • This study compared seed recruitment among un-planted areas, plantations, and various sized islands of planted trees, including density and species composition of seed rain, contributions of birds versus bats (as well as abiotic seed dispersal), and the relative importance of remnant forest in the landscape matrix.
  • The researchers conducted the study over 2.5 years, at 11 sites, with three 50 x 50 meter plots, (one control, one plantation, and one plot with 6 planted tree islands of various size), examining seed rain, species types, and seed dispersal mechanisms-distinguishing nocturnally and diurnally dispersed seeds to identify bird-dispersed versus bat-dispersed seeds.
  • Large and medium sized island plots yielded almost as high seed rain as in plantation plots, making island restoration an interesting model of restoration in order to decrease costs, although island expansion from seed rain was extremely limited within the 2 year period of the study (meaning more studies may need to be conducted to better understand the ability of islands to expand into broader areas of restored forest).
  • The majority of tree seeds found were early successional species, and there was marked increase in bird dispersal of seeds in plantations compared to unplanted control plots, although there was less difference in bat-dispersed seeds in this study. As most of the seeds brought in were early successional species, the authors suggest that later introduction of other dispersal limited species may require additional planting.

Geographical Region

  • Southern Central America
  • Ecosystems

  • Montane Forest
  • Country

  • Costa Rica
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