• Successional trajectories of belowground microbial communities parallel tree community changes during reforestation

    By T. Trevor Caughlin, Literature Coordinator The transformation from degraded agricultural land to tropical forest is accompanied by visible changes in animal and plant biodiversity. How this transformation affects microbial communities, the invisible majority of life on earth, remains poorly understood. This knowledge gap represents a significant missing piece in

  • Can farmers be forest custodians in the Amazon?

    By Aoife Bennett-Curry, CIFOR Agricultural activity and forest conservation have often had an antagonistic relationship and are usually discussed in terms of how the former damages the latter. Forest and development policy, and indeed society itself, often separates and divides the vast ‘wilderness’ of ‘primary’ forest and the indigenous communities

  • What’s Missing from Joe Biden’s “Plan for Central America”?

    Central America’s local people and invaluable natural resources must be included in any sustainable plan for the future of this critical, beautiful region. By Devyn Powell, EcoLogic’s Communications Officer The EcoLogic team was excited to see the USA turn the spotlight on Central America with Vice President Joe Biden’s New

  • Remote sensing reveals significant forest regrowth amidst net deforestation in African dry tropical forests

    By Marc Mayes African dry tropical forests are critical for biogeochemical cycles, water conservation and provide natural resources for over 100 million people who directly depend on these forests for their livelihoods. The region is a hotspot for land use change, with one of the highest global deforestation rates, yet

  • Duck-rice, honey bees and mandarins

    Written by Kathleen Buckingham. When asked to name a restoration project in China, the likelihood is that the Loess Plateau will come to mind. The hilly, semi-arid region in north-central China is roughly the size of Afghanistan. Thousands of years of farming, which intensified during the Cultural Revolution, left the former grasslands

  • Can participatory mapping accurately classify tropical secondary forest?

    By T. Trevor Caughlin, Publications Editor. Vergara-Asenjo, G., D. Sharma, and C. Potvin. In press. Engaging Stakeholders: Assessing Accuracy of Participatory Mapping of Land Cover in Panama. Conservation Letters. DOI: 10.1111/conl.12161. Large-scale forest management, including REDD+ and the Bonn Challenge, will require accurate maps of land cover. In many tropical landscapes,

  • Smart reforestation must go beyond carbon: expert

    By Catriona Moss, CIFOR Keeping carbon stored in trees. That’s one major way of tackling climate change. Natural regeneration, replanting, native tree plantations, commercial plantations and agro forestry systems have all be used as part of reforestation efforts. But a new study has found we can do better by ensuring

  • New research on secondary forest resilience in the Brazilian Amazon

    Secondary forest regrowth in a Brazilian cassava field. Photo credit: Catarina Jakovac Jakovac, C. C., M. Peña-Claros, T. W. Kuyper, and F. Bongers. 2015. Loss of secondary-forest resilience by land-use intensification in the Amazon. Journal of Ecology 103:67–77. By T. Trevor Caughlin, Publications Editor Resilience, the capacity to retain function

  • ELTI’s field courses link applied ecology and land use decision makers

    By Jacob L. Slusser, Panama Coordinator, ELTI Neotropics Training Program Photo credit: ELTI To address the gap between restoration experts and practitioners, the Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative (ELTI)1 has been providing environmental training courses since 2006 for people who manage or influence human dominated landscapes in Asia and the

  • Tree islands and plantations enhance seed dispersal during forest restoration

    Reid, J. L., K. D. Holl, and R. A. Zahawi. 2015. Seed dispersal limitations shift over time in tropical forest restoration. Ecological Applications 25:1072–1082. by Trevor Caughlin, Publications Editor photo courtesy of Karen Holl Succession can transform a pasture dominated by grasses and weeds to a second-growth forest with a