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.

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 July 30, 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

AP (July 30, 2014) River otters were hitting the water slides to beat the summer heatwave on Wednesday at Ichikawa City's Zoological and Botanical Garden. (July 30) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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