Reclaiming degraded rainforest: a spatial evaluation of gains and losses in subtropical eastern Australia to inform future investment in restoration

Shoo, Luke P., Scarth, Peter, Schmidt, Susanne and Wilson, Kerrie A. (2013) Reclaiming degraded rainforest: a spatial evaluation of gains and losses in subtropical eastern Australia to inform future investment in restoration. Restoration Ecology, 21 4: 481-489. doi:10.1111/j.1526-100X.2012.00916.x


Author Shoo, Luke P.
Scarth, Peter
Schmidt, Susanne
Wilson, Kerrie A.
Title Reclaiming degraded rainforest: a spatial evaluation of gains and losses in subtropical eastern Australia to inform future investment in restoration
Journal name Restoration Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1061-2971
1526-100X
Publication date 2013-07-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2012.00916.x
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 21
Issue 4
Start page 481
End page 489
Total pages 9
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Abstract Forest restoration is expected to play a pivotal role in reducing extinctions driven by deforestation and climate change over the next century. However, spatial and temporal patterns of restoration (both passive and active) are likely to be highly variable depending on degree of land use change as well as levels of forest and soil degradation and residual vegetation. Uncertainties regarding the spatial and temporal reinstatement of forest on degraded land make it difficult to determine where future investment in active restoration should be targeted. We used satellite data to quantify change in the extent and foliage projection cover (FPC) of woody vegetation returning to land previously cleared of subtropical rainforest in eastern Australia. We show a modest recovery of woody vegetation but document high variability in this trend between local areas, expanding by over 5% in some situations but declining by up to 2% in others over the last decade (1999-2009 period). This was accompanied by minor change in average FPC (-0.2 to 4.2%). Overall, decadal expansion in woody vegetation was most apparent in local areas with intermediate levels of existing forest reestablishment and was most likely to occur on steep terrain near existing vegetation. These results provide a valuable first evaluation of where restoration is occurring and the likely time frame required to meet conservation objectives under a business as usual scenario. This knowledge enables returns from current investment to be quantified and can be used to better allocate funds for restoration in the future.
Keyword Land-use change
Regeneration
Regrowth
Secondary forest
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2013 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Sat, 02 Feb 2013, 22:24:39 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences