Restoring the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

Photo of forest

A restoration site in Sao Paulo state, Brazil. Originally this site was a hyper-diverse Atlantic Forest that was cleared for sugar cane. Now it supports a clonal eucalypt plantation. Monocultures of fast growing trees like this can return tree cover to an extensive area quickly. It can produce rapid biomass growth but it does not restore diversity, structure and function, and it lacks resilience to disturbance and environmental change over time. See Decision Point #68 for a discussion about restoration and scale. (Photo by Richard Hobbs)

Forest restoration enhances the provision of many ecosystem services, is an important tool for combating climate change and helps protect biodiversity. In a recent issue of Applied Vegetation Science, Leticia Garcia and coauthors (including CEED’s Richard Hobbs) examined restoration outcomes in the Atlantic Forest area in Brazil. They show that simply planting trees is insufficient for fully restoring rain forest complexity, and highlight the need for longer-term restoration plans, including continued management and enrichment plantings that speed the recovery of non-tree forest components once planted trees have established.


Reference

Garcia LC, RJ Hobbs, et al. (2016). Restoration over time: is it possible to restore trees and non-trees in high-diversity forests? Applied Vegetation Science 19: 655-666.doi:10.1111/avsc.12264

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