A recent publication led by PhD student Konrad Uebel demonstrates the additional ecological benefits arising from assisted regeneration and its potential as a cost-effective tool for accelerating forest recovery. By comparing two different levels of management intervention on abandoned agro-pastoral land, using a combination of field data and historical aerial imagery, the study reveals the differences in forest structure and recruitment that can be obtained. Assisted regeneration sites showed a threefold increase in canopy cover, fourfold increase in native tree and shrub species richness and over 40 times greater native stem density compared to non-assisted regeneration sites. The results also support the removal of multiple barriers to best promote forest recovery, with the exclusion of grazing alone, for example, not enough to facilitate successful native recruitment.
The study is published in Ecological Management and Restoration: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/emr.12277/full