Second GrowthThe Promise of Tropical Forest Regeneration in an Age of Deforestation

Second GrowthThe Promise of Tropical Forest Regeneration in an Age of Deforestation

Robin L. Chazdon

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9780226117911

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


This book brings tropical regenerating forests into clear focus, synthesizing information from hundreds of studies of forest regeneration following different types and intensities of disturbance across different regions and forest types. Chapter 1 illustrates different perceptions of tropical forests, and discusses the extent of regenerating forests across tropical regions. Chapters 2 and 3 explore the legacies of ancient human occupation and land uses in the tropics. Forest dynamics (Chapter 4) reflect responses to disturbances at a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Chapter 5 provides a broad conceptual overview of successional patterns and phases in tropical forests. Four chapters review forest regeneration following different types of disturbances, including newly created substrates (Chapter 6), agricultural land use (Chapter 7), hurricanes and fires (Chapter 8), and logging (Chapter 9). The functional traits that influence vegetation dynamics during succession are described in Chapter 10. Chapter 11 focuses on the recovery of ecosystem processes, such as carbon and nutrient accumulation in soils and vegetation. Regenerating forests provide habitats for a large proportion of forest-dwelling animal species that disperse seeds, pollinate flowers, and drive trophic interactions (Chapter 12). Chapter 13 describes approaches to active reforestation to overcome barriers to natural regeneration. Chapter 14 examines the socio-ecology of regenerating forests from a landscape perspective. Chapter 15 concludes with an overall synthesis and emphasizes the value of tropical regenerating and restored forests. The book's major message is that understanding, promoting, and managing forest regeneration are key to sustaining tropical forests worldwide.