Restoring the Neotropical Dry Forests in the Face of Climate Change

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Mesa-Sierra Natalia, de la Peña-Domene, Marinés, Giardina, Christian P., Campo, Julio, De Las Casas, Andrea

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Tropical dry forests (TDF) have a broad global distribution, hold unique biodiversity that is climatically restricted by evolutionary history. For the past century, TDFs have faced numerous threats, reducing the surface of this ecosystem, so that in recent decades conservation actions have focused not only on its protection but on its recovery. The main objective of this study was to compile relevant and practical lessons of how the diversity, ecosystem services and community well-being had been recovered through restoration strategies in the TDFs of the Neotropic. A total of 98 studies published between 1990 and 2020 were reviewed, of which most took place in Mexico and the mean restored area was of 74 ha. The most reported disturbances prior to restoration corresponds to cattle, followed by crops and mining. Plantations were the most used restoration strategy of the Neotropics. A total of 99 response variables were identified, of which the most frequently used were related to the vegetation structure (e.g., Survival, Seedling Height), while the least used variables were related with social aspects of restoration (e.g., economic benefits). It is necessary to recognize that this ecosystem has specific characteristics throughout its distribution in the Neotropic related both to its diversity and environmental variables, as well as to its disturbances, so identifying the best practices would allow stakeholders to improve restoration programs.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

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