Cole, R.J., K.D. Holl and R.A. Zahawi
Planting native tree seedlings is the predominant restoration strategy for accelerating forest succession on degraded lands. Planting tree ‘islands’ is less costly and labor intensive than establishing larger plantations and simulates the nucleation process of succession. Assessing the role of island size in attracting seed dispersers, the potential of islands to expand through enhanced seed deposition, and the effect of planting arrangements on seed dispersal by birds and bats informs restoration design. Determining the relative importance of local restoration approach vs. landscape-level factors (amount of surrounding forest cover) helps prioritize methods and locations for restoration. We tested how three restoration approaches affect the arrival of forest seeds at 11 experimental sites spread across a gradient of surrounding forest cover in a 100-km2 area of southern Costa Rica.