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Local tropical forest restoration strategies affect tree recruitment more strongly than does landscape forest cover

Published on Aug 1, 2017in Journal of Applied Ecology5.782
· DOI :10.1111/1365-2664.12814
Karen D. Holl40
Estimated H-index: 40
(UCSC: University of California, Santa Cruz),
John Leighton Reid3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Missouri Botanical Garden)
+ 2 AuthorsRakan A. Zahawi22
Estimated H-index: 22
(Organization for Tropical Studies)
Sources
Abstract
Summary Developing restoration strategies that accelerate natural successional processes and are resource-efficient is critical to facilitating tropical forest recovery across millions of hectares of deforested lands in the tropics. We compared tree recruitment after a decade in three restoration treatments (natural regeneration, applied nucleation/island tree planting and plantation) and nearby reference forest in the premontane rain forest zone in southern Costa Rica. The study was replicated at 13 sites with a range of surrounding forest cover, enabling us to evaluate the relative influence of local restoration treatments and landscape forest cover on tree recruitment. Density of small-seeded ( 10 mm)-seeded, animal-dispersed recruits were greatest in reference forest, intermediate in applied nucleation and plantation and lowest in natural regeneration plots. Recruit composition differed substantially between reference forest and all restoration treatments. In general, plantation recruit composition was more similar to reference forests and natural regeneration least similar; however, there was high within-treatment variation. Models suggested weak support for the effect of surrounding forest cover on tropical tree recruit density and composition, as compared to restoration treatment and site conditions (e.g. elevation), in this intermediate forest cover landscape. Synthesis and applications. Applied nucleation appears to be a cost-effective strategy as compared to plantation-style planting to accelerate tropical forest recovery regardless of the amount of forest cover immediately adjacent to the site. However, even with active restoration interventions, forest recovery is a multidecade process that proceeds at highly variable rates.
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References63
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Many large-seeded Neotropical trees depend on a limited guild of animals for seed dispersal. Fragmented landscapes reduce animal abundance and movement, limiting seed dispersal between distant forest remnants. In 2006, experimental plantings were established in pasture to determine whether plantings enhance seed dispersal and, ultimately, seedling recruitment. We examined patterns of naturally recruited seedlings of Ocotea uxpanapana, a large-seeded bird-dispersed tree endemic to southern Mexico...
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Restoration of degraded ecosystems is known to enhance biodiversity and vegetation structure. Using a global meta-analysis, Crouzeilles et al. identify the drivers of restoration success in forest ecosystems at both the local and landscape scales.
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#1Renato Crouzeilles (UFRJ: Federal University of Rio de Janeiro)H-Index: 13
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Habitat loss and fragmentation of forests are among the biggest threats to biodiversity and associated ecosystem services in tropical landscapes. We use the vicinity of the Las Cruces Biological Station in southern Costa Rica as a regional case study to document seven decades of land-use change in one of the most intensively studied sites in the Neotropics. Though the premontane wet forest was largely intact in 1947, a wave of immigration in 1952 initiated rapid changes over a short period. Over...
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