Multidimensional tropical forest recovery

Lourens Poorter, Dylan Craven, Catarina C. Jakovac, Masha T. van der Sande, Lucy Amissah, Frans Bongers, Robin L. Chazdon, Caroline E. Farrior, Stephan Kambach, Jorge A. Meave, Rodrigo Muñoz, Natalia Norden, Nadja Rüger, Michiel van Breugel, Angélica María Almeyda Zambrano, Bienvenu Amani, José Luis Andrade, Pedro H.S. Brancalion, Eben N. Broadbent, Hubert de ForestaDaisy H. Dent, Géraldine Derroire, Saara J. DeWalt, Juan M. Dupuy, Sandra M. Durán, Alfredo C. Fantini, Bryan Finegan, Alma Hernández-Jaramillo, José Luis Hernández-Stefanoni, Peter Hietz, André B. Junqueira, Justin Kassi N’dja, Susan G. Letcher, Madelon Lohbeck, René López-Camacho, Miguel Martínez-Ramos, Felipe P.L. Melo, Francisco Mora, Sandra C. Müller, Anny E. N’Guessan, Florian Oberleitner, Edgar Ortiz-Malavassi, Eduardo A. Pérez-García, Bruno X. Pinho, Daniel Piotto, Jennifer S. Powers, Susana Rodríguez-Buriticá, Danaë M.A. Rozendaal, Jorge Ruíz, Marcelo Tabarelli, Heitor Mancini Teixeira, Everardo Valadares de Sá Barretto Sampaio, Hans van der Wal, Pedro M. Villa, Geraldo W. Fernandes, Braulio A. Santos, José Aguilar-Cano, Jarcilene S. de Almeida-Cortez, Esteban Alvarez-Davila, Felipe Arreola-Villa, Patricia Balvanera, Justin M. Becknell, George A.L. Cabral, Carolina Castellanos-Castro, Ben H.J. de Jong, Jhon Edison Nieto, Mário M. Espírito-Santo, Maria C. Fandino, Hernando García, Daniel García-Villalobos, Jefferson S. Hall, Alvaro Idárraga, Jaider Jiménez-Montoya, Deborah Kennard, Erika Marín-Spiotta, Rita Mesquita, Yule R.F. Nunes, Susana Ochoa-Gaona, Marielos Peña-Claros, Nathalia Pérez-Cárdenas, Jorge Rodríguez-Velázquez, Lucía Sanaphre Villanueva, Naomi B. Schwartz, Marc K. Steininger, Maria D.M. Veloso, Henricus F.M. Vester, Ima C.G. Vieira, G. Bruce Williamson, Kátia Zanini, Bruno Hérault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Tropical forests disappear rapidly because of deforestation, yet they have the potential to regrow naturally on abandoned lands. We analyze how 12 forest attributes recover during secondary succession and how their recovery is interrelated using 77 sites across the tropics. Tropical forests are highly resilient to low-intensity land use; after 20 years, forest attributes attain 78% (33 to 100%) of their old-growth values. Recovery to 90% of old-growth values is fastest for soil (<1 decade) and plant functioning (<2.5 decades), intermediate for structure and species diversity (2.5 to 6 decades), and slowest for biomass and species composition (>12 decades). Network analysis shows three independent clusters of attribute recovery, related to structure, species diversity, and species composition. Secondary forests should be embraced as a low-cost, natural solution for ecosystem restoration, climate change mitigation, and biodiversity conservation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1370-1376
Number of pages7
JournalScience
Volume374
Issue number6573
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 10 2021

Bibliographical note

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© 2021 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights reserved.

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