Tropical Montane Forest Restoration in Costa Rica: Overcoming Barriers to Dispersal and Establishment

Holl, K.D., M.E. Loik, E.H.V Lin, and I.A. Samuels

Publication Date:

This article provides a review of the factors limiting pasture recovery in tropical montane areas of Costa Rica and how forest managers can implement strategies to overcome these limitations, thereby facilitating ecosystem recovery. Firstly, the authors describe that the lack of seed dispersal from forests into pastures is one of the most important factors limiting the regeneration potential of forest species. Secondly, the competition between seedlings and pasture grasses can limit the survival and growth potential of the seedlings. Other factors include seed predation, low germination, lack of nutrients, high light intensity, and herbivory. To facilitate regeneration despite these limitations, the authors suggest planting native tree seedlings or early-succession shrubs that can shade out grasses and enhance seed dispersal. Along with shading structures that reduce grass cover, perching structures can help increase dispersal. The authors assert that the development of strategies for ecosystem recovery is highly dependent on a good understanding of the biology of an ecosystem.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Restoration Ecology