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Resurrecting Rain Forests

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The accepted belief is that once destroyed, tropical rain forests could never be restored. But is that really the case or just a myth?

In 1993, researchers from the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Sciences at Cornell University began replanting a parcel of worn-out Costa Rican pasture land with seeds collected from native trees found in the community, often racing to gather the seeds before the monkeys got to them.

The result? Many people thought that they had done the impossible:



Ten years after the tree plantings, Cornell graduate student Jackeline Salazar counted the species of plants that took up residence in the shade of the new planted areas. She found remarkably high numbers of species -- more than 100 in each plot. And many of the new arrivals were also to be found in nearby remnants of the original forests. [...]

Fully rescuing a rain forest may take hundreds of years, but Leopold, whose findings are published with Salazar in the March 2008 issue of Ecological Restoration, said the study's results are promising. "I'm surprised," he said. "We're getting impressive growth rates in the new forest trees."

Link - via holeinthedonut

From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by \'\' baweibel.


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Everyone should note that nature only bounced back in this case because some humans helped it. This is not proof that logging without re-planting is sustainable.

@mmm - do you call it a "temperate jungle" or a "temperate rain forest"? (also, what other old un-PC terms have you kept/abandoned)
I don't know if a racial connotation is the reason, but "rain forest" sure sounds like re-branding
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@mmm: Two minutes on Wikipedia would have gotten you this...

Not all regions called "jungles" would qualify as "rain forests" because many would apply "jungle" to the forests of northern Thailand or southern Guangdong in China: but scientifically, these are "monsoon forests" or "tropical deciduous forests" but not "rain forests".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungle
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@mmm: I don't think I understand why it matters. To each his own on this one, but I don't get the outrage. Maybe the term rain forest is just a little more descriptive.
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