Cao, S., L. Chen and X. Yu
In practical terms, the destruction of natural vegetation cover during afforestation should be avoided, as this makes the soil surface more vulnerable to erosion and reduces species diversity. Managers should reduce the intensity of farming and grazing on fragile land rather than relying on afforestation as the primary tool for ecological restoration in arid and semi-arid areas. Afforestation remains a valuable tool but should be limited to the planting of native or other species that will not exacerbate soil water shortages such as stable communities of natural desert steppe, maximum water-use efficiency dwarf shrubs, and possibly even lichen species in more severely degraded environments.
Journal of Applied Ecology