Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Giving nature a helping hand

03.07.2008
Dutch ecologist Marijke van Kuijk has studied the regeneration of the tropical forest in Vietnam.

Abandoned agricultural land does regenerate to tropical forest, but only slowly. Two procedures are used to help nature along: pruning of foliage to free up space for trees and planting the desired tree species. Van Kuijk used the PHOLIAGE model to calculate the appropriate measures.

People in the tropics depend heavily on the products and services the forest supplies. However, the natural regeneration process from agricultural land to forest often stagnates at the scrub stage. Some plants and shrubs grow vigorously and become dominant as a result of which young trees do not receive enough light to grow.

Cutting free
Cutting young trees free generally results in increased growth. Van Kuijk discovered that the response of trees to an opening in the vegetation varied among species. This was related to the tree height, the leaf surface, the dimensions of the crown and the amount of light the trees needed. The ideal size for the opening in the surrounding vegetation varies for each species and depends on the height and density of the vegetation. The PHOLIAGE model can predict tree growth accurately. This makes it possible to determine per tree and per forest the best timing, the best opening and the effects of cutting free.
Planting
The PHOLIAGE model can also be used when scheduling the planting of new trees. The success of planting depends on factors such as exposure to light by the existing vegetation, tree species, et cetera. In general, the calculations indicated that shade-tolerant species achieve maximum growth faster (with less intervention) than photophilic species. However, it is not always desirable to open up the vegetation to such an extent that all tree species can reach their maximum growth. That can be at the expense of the existing forest and requires a lot of work. The PHOLIAGE model calculates the amount of growth increase per planting, given a particular opening size.
Secondary forests
Forests start to regenerate after agricultural land has been abandoned. The resulting vegetation is termed “secondary forest”. The vegetation is dominated initially by non-ligneous plants and shrubs, which are replaced within a few years by pioneer trees. After several decades, the pioneers die off, giving the climax species the opportunity to grow and later form a forest. This process, where species replace each other over time, is called “succession” and is the natural process by which a forest regenerates. Often this regeneration process stagnates during the early stages of succession. Non-ligneous plants and shrubs grow vigorously and become dominant, with young trees not receiving sufficient light to grow. What remains is scrubland of little biological, economic, social or cultural value.

David Redeker | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nwo.nl
http://www.nwo.nl/nwohome.nsf/pages/NWOA_7FVCAE_Eng

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht Value from wastewater
16.08.2017 | Hochschule Landshut

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>