MAY 29, 2018 4:58 PM PDT

These Trees May Play a Vital Role in Forest Regeneration

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

After analyzing 42 different sites scattered throughout the Neotropics, researchers from the University of Stirling discovered how Leguminosae trees could play a vital role in restoring many of the secondary forests that reside in dry areas.

The findings have been published this week in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Forest regeneration is a major goal set forth by environmentalists, and one family of trees may be key to it all.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Among the 42 sites that the researchers explored were both wet and dry regions throughout Central and South America. Notably, the Leguminosae trees appeared twice as frequently in drier areas than they did in wetter ones, suggesting that these trees out-live their drought-intolerant counterparts.

As it would seem, this particular family of trees is more resistant to drought than initially thought, and this may have implications for how we’ll cope with forest regeneration in drier climates going forward.

"Our study shows that trees in the Leguminosae family are critical to tropical forest regrowth in dry regions," explained study co-author Dr. Daisy Dent.

"As global temperatures warm and dry conditions become more widespread in the tropics, this has major implications for forest recovery across the region."

Related: Deforestation in the Amazon: there may be no going back

In addition to higher tolerance to dryness, Leguminosae trees cope well in environments with poor soil, which appears to be a typical quality of secondary forests. Furthermore, they keep nitrogen levels in check and benefit the plants around them.

The findings underscore the critical role that Leguminosae trees might play as experts move forward with conducting the Bonn Challenge – an effort to restore vast amounts of global forest space in coming decades.

"In light of the goals of the Bonn Challenge, our study will directly influence how we match tree species to site conditions to maximize the effective restoration of degraded tropical lands," Dent added.

Related: Does logging the whole tree make a difference environmentally?

It should be intriguing to see how this drought-tolerant faimly of trees may assist with forest regeneration. After all, so many forests are needlessly mowed down over time, and most environmentalists agree that the planet desperately needs them back.

Source: EurekAlert

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
APR 07, 2020
Plants & Animals
APR 07, 2020
As the Seasons Change, Hornet Colonies Make Tough Decisions
Hornet colonies can be particularly susceptible to the Earth’s seasonal changes. That’s why when the climate ...
APR 14, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
APR 14, 2020
How Deer Antlers Can Teach Us About Cancer Treatment
Deer antlers grow faster than cancerous tumors.
APR 17, 2020
Earth & The Environment
APR 17, 2020
Earth Just Had its Second Warmest March
The planet continues to set climate records, which is certainly not great news. Earlier this week, the National Oceanic ...
APR 24, 2020
Health & Medicine
APR 24, 2020
Study Shows Marijuana Withdrawal is Real
Whether or not an addiction to marijuana is a risk of the drug has been widely debated, with the general population typi ...
APR 28, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
APR 28, 2020
Evolution Observed in Fish in a Single Generation
In a five year study, scientists have now shown that stickleback fish were able to alter some of their traits within a s ...
MAY 05, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAY 05, 2020
When Rival Baboon Troops Collide, Only Chaos Ensues
Troops of Hamadryas baboons can reach numbers of 400 strong without a single particular leader. Albeit large, these troo ...
Loading Comments...