Thursday, May 26, 2011

Challenges in Restoration

Destruction of tropical forests has been going on for generations, but restoration technology represents a new promise. Restoration planners have a daunting task in changing the way communities, businesses, and governments think about their forests. This change in thinking begins with educating communities, as Chico Mendes did in Brazil, to the harm subsistence farmers potentially do to forest resources and their health when they cut down trees. The idea of restoration must be presented to those at higher levels also, such as local leaders, national government agencies, and international organizations. International pressure on illegal logging and clear-cutting gives restoration projects more time to achieve success.

The process of restoration itself presents several challenges to workers on a restoration project. First, seed dispersal is difficult work in hot, humid tropics. Second, not all seeds grow, and animals also eat about 65 percent of the seeds workers scatter or the seedlings they plant. Third, each section of forest has slightly different environmental conditions that make them unique, so one plan does not always work in all areas. Fourth, logging methods that remove all the native trees from an area also remove their seeds, which would be the best choice for restoring a native forest. Ecologists must therefore raise new seedlings in a nursery.

Fifth, clear-cut logging removes birds as well as trees, and many birds disperse seeds better than volunteers can. Finally, restoration includes extra work such as the planting of shrubs that protect seedlings and provide shade cover. Tropical forest preservation and restoration therefore may be one of the most complex jobs in environmental science. Tropical forests require this help more than any other forest type, and the preservation must go into action quickly to head off a pending disaster in biodiversity.

Source of Information : Green Technology Conservation Protecting Our Plant Resources

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