This paper, co-authored by Andy Hector, Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery Theme lead notes that satellite observations of one of the world’s biggest ecological experiments on the island of Borneo have revealed that replanting logged forests with diverse mixtures of seedlings can significantly accelerate their recovery.
The experiment was set up by Professor Andy Hector and colleagues over twenty years ago as part of the SE Asia Rainforest Research Partnership (SEARRP). This assessed the recovery of 125 different plots in an area of logged tropical forest that were sown with different combinations of tree species. The results revealed that plots replanted with a mixture of 16 native tree species showed faster recovery of canopy area and total tree biomass, compared to plots replanted with 4 or just 1 species. However, even plots that had been replanted with 1 tree species were recovering more quickly than those left to restore naturally.