Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Giving Nature A Helping Hand

Date:
July 8, 2008
Source:
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
Summary:
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.

Marijke van Kuijk.
Credit: Image courtesy of Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research

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.

Related Articles


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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. "Giving Nature A Helping Hand." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080703113611.htm>.
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. (2008, July 8). Giving Nature A Helping Hand. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080703113611.htm
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. "Giving Nature A Helping Hand." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080703113611.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cambodian Capital's Only Working Elephant to Retire in Jungle

Cambodian Capital's Only Working Elephant to Retire in Jungle

AFP (Nov. 25, 2014) Phnom Penh's only working elephant was blessed by a crowd of chanting Buddhist monks Tuesday as she prepared for a life of comfortable jungle retirement after three decades of giving rides to tourists. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stray Dog Follows Adventure Racing Team for 6-Day Endurance Race

Stray Dog Follows Adventure Racing Team for 6-Day Endurance Race

Buzz60 (Nov. 24, 2014) A Swedish Adventure racing team travels to try and win a world title, but comes home with something way better: a stray dog that joined the team for much of the grueling 430-mile race. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins