Forest Restoration Technique
Forests are incredibly important systems that provide valuable ecological services to humans and wildlife alike.
Unfortunately, these systems are often undervalued, and human activities such as deforestation, bush burning, and impervious cover removal can cause serious degradation to forested lands.
This degradation can lead to a loss of the ecological functions of an established forest, and can increase soil erosion, disrupt the water cycle, and contribute to climate change through the release of carbon stored in woody biomass.
Forest restoration is the act of rebuilding and maintaining forests to support and accelerate the recovery of degraded forest systems. But forest restoration isn’t just about saving the trees, it’s also about creating ecological uplift, increasing the function of the wide range of ecological services that forests provide, and benefitting humans and wildlife species that rely on functional forested systems to flourish
forest restoration is a useful process in protecting the natural and manmade landscape, but careful consideration must be taken when determining the best approach to meet restoration goals.
Some of the techniques for restoration include:
reforestation is a measured approach that considers much more than just planting trees. Determining the cause of degradation informs the best course of action moving forward to better restore and conserve the land. The landscape position, groundwater table, and soil types must be considered to select the appropriate tree species, planting density, and to meet restoration objectives for replanting.
Invasive Species Management
Invasive species can have harmful effects on native forested systems. This approach involves using adaptive management techniques to reduce non-native and invasive species presence through mechanical removal, herbicide application, and planting with competing native species that can establish and suppress non-native prevalence in a forest ecosystem.
Natural regeneration, understood as the process by which an ecosystem impacted by natural or anthropic disturbances recovers its total or partial biodiversity, its structure and functioning, through the successional sequence over time, is undoubtedly the most ecological and cheapest manner of restoring forests.
For situations in which only the abandonment of a particular area has not resulted in progress of the natural regeneration process, by the factors already related, it is possible to stimulate and accelerate the process through the adoption of alternative techniques, such as nucleation, exclusively or combined with the reforestation.
The progress of forest restoration in the world is undeniable, which has gained strength in recent years from the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) and the recent water crisis that has increased the perception of society about the importance of preservation and restoration of riparian forests.