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Application of Assisted Natural Regeneration to Restore Degraded Tropical Forestlands

Authors

  • Kenichi Shono,

    Corresponding author
    1. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, 39 Phra Atit Road, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
      Address correspondence to K. Shono, email ken.shono@aya.yale.edu
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  • Ernesto A. Cadaweng,

    1. Bagong Pagasa Foundation, Inc., Barangay Kalatagbak, Quezon Municipality, Province of Palawan, Philippines
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  • Patrick B. Durst

    1. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, 39 Phra Atit Road, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
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Address correspondence to K. Shono, email ken.shono@aya.yale.edu

Abstract

Assisted natural regeneration (ANR) is a simple, low-cost forest restoration method that can effectively convert deforested lands of degraded vegetation to more productive forests. The method aims to accelerate, rather than replace, natural successional processes by removing or reducing barriers to natural forest regeneration such as soil degradation, competition with weedy species, and recurring disturbances (e.g., fire, grazing, and wood harvesting). Compared to conventional reforestation methods involving planting of tree seedlings, ANR offers significant cost advantages because it reduces or eliminates the costs associated with propagating, raising, and planting seedlings. It is most effectively utilized at the landscape level in restoring the protective functions of forests such as watershed protection and soil conservation. ANR techniques are flexible and allow for the integration of various values such as timber production, biodiversity recovery, and cultivation of crops, fruit trees, and non-timber forest products in the restored forest. This paper describes the steps of applying ANR and conditions under which it will be most effective. It also discusses ANR’s comparative advantages as well as some of its constraints.

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