Secondary forests are forests that regrow on their own after a piece of land has been cleared for human use, usually to plant crops or raise cattle.
An international team of more than 90 researchers considered how 12 different forest attributes recover by looking at 77 landscapes and 2,275 forest plots in the American and West African tropics
, using a process called chronosequencing.
Soil can recover to 90% of its old-growth status in less than 10 years, plant function in less than 25 years, structure and biodiversity in 25 to 60 years and biomass and species composition in little over a century. However, overall the previously-cleared land would return to 78% of its old growth status in just 20 years.
A mix of natural and active restoration may be needed,
a whole gradient of solutions, ranging from natural regeneration, assisted natural regeneration, agroforestry, to plantations. The optimal solution depends on local site conditions, the local people, and their needs. By using such a mix of approaches, we can create more natural, biodiverse, and resilient landscapes. (source: ecowatch.com)
What can we do to help regenerate forests worldwide? Eat local organic vegan food.
Let's make sure that the wood or paper in the products we buy comes from certified forests, preferably from essences that are easily and quickly renewable, such as bamboo and hemp, from which multiple items of common use in every aspect of daily life can be made.