Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences

Vol. 9(3), pp. 337-343, 2019

ISSN: 2276-7770

Copyright ©2019, the copyright of this article is retained by the author(s)

DOI Link: https://doi.org/10.15580/GJAS.2019.3.080719153

https://gjournals.org/GJAS

 

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Forest Production, Restoration and Management under Climate Change

 

 

Hyunshik Moon1 and Tamirat Solomon1, 2*

 

 

1Department of Forest Environmental Resources, Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 52825, South Korea

2Department of Natural Resources Management, Wolaita Sodo University, College of Agriculture P.O.B 138, Wolaita Sodo, Ethiopia.

 

 

ARTICLE INFO

ABSTRACT

 

Article No.: 080719153

Type: Review

DOI: 10.15580/GJAS.2019.3.080719153

 

 

Many countries in the world are faced with two diverse but interwoven challenges in the 21st century; feeding a growing population and how to adapt to climate change. Changes in climate are recognized as one of the major factors accelerating the degradation of land. Thus, land degradation either caused by human being or natural factors is still a continuous process and the coverage of forests is dwindling. To halt the problem successful, restoration of forest ecosystems using native species as healthy living systems, capable of adaptation climate change requires attention. At the establishment phase, tree selection for rehabilitation however, remains one of the least understood and most often ignored components where rehabilitation has been done by using exotic tree species. Therefore, to achieve the successful rehabilitation of degraded lands, foresters and nursery managers need to reconsider the selection, production, and out planting of native trees in a dynamic context instead of the monoculture exotic plantation to create connectivity across landscapes and building in adaptability for changing climates.

 

Submitted: 07/08/2019

Accepted:  26/08/2019

Published: 23/09/2019

 

*Corresponding Author

Tamirat Solomon

E-mail: tasolmame@ gmail.com

 

Keywords: Forest production; forest restoration; Climate change; species selection; land degradation

 

 

 

 

 


INTRODUCTION

 

Forest resources across the world have been increasingly degraded and the rest stressed over the past two decades mainly due to the factors related with population growth and climate change. Global total forest area decreased from 4.28 billion hectares to 3.99 billion hectares from 1990 to 2015, with percent global forest cover dropping from 31.85% to 30.85% (Payn et al., 2015). Thus, understanding of the complex relationships between a changing climate, forests and its management is important for the sustainability of life on the earth.

Climate change could have significant negative impacts on existing forests (Sedjo & Sohngen, 1998); on nursery production by heat stress damage, high day and soil temperature, increasing the water take up and transpiration (Burton, 2016); and also failures of survival of newly planted seedlings (Paterson et al., 2015). It presents significant potential risks to forests and challenges for forest managers (Keenan, 2015). On the other hand, increasing demands of forest products and services caused by high population growth is also resulting a serious pressure on the area, quality of forest resources. In the 1800th the world population was 1 billion (Mittal and Mittal, 2013), and after 2 centuries later, the global population is 7.6 billion, which is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030 (UN, 2017).

Survival of planted trees is an attribute of the quality of planting seedlings used (Nyoka et al., 2018). Production of healthy trees seedlings (both genetically and physical condition) is one of the key solution to halt deforestation and sustainability of forest resources. Because, tree growth is a function of genetic potential of the species and environmental conditions (Koslowski et al., 1991). However, shortage of quality tree seedlings has been a major constraint in forestry and forest production. For instance, for the survival of seedlings, root growth potential (RGP) which is the ability to regenerate new roots and is closely linked to the seedling’s ability to avoid water stress after planting is important (Duryea & McClain, 1984; McTague & Tiius, 1996). But, the environmental changes resulted from climate change is limiting the potential of plants to grow, reproduce and indeed survive through its life cycle (Martin, 2009). Present synthesis is an attempt to compile existing information on the forest production and management under the changing climate; impacts of climate on the rehabilitation process, survival of seedlings, and approaches for the sustainable management of forests including choices of species for the forest production and development.

 

Tree Nursery Production for Restoration and Climate Change

 

The climate appears to be changing faster than plants can adapt (Williams and Dumroese, 2014). Thus, the concept and understanding of climate change together with the problem it poses at present and future, is taken seriously across the world. Climate change is affecting forests though effects on nursery, weeds, soils, insects, invasive species and disease. In terms of nursery production the main climatic variables that are important includes temperature, solar radiation, water, and atmospheric CO2 concentration. As plant growth is driven by environmental factors, any change to the environment will impact on production of plants specifically tree nursery.

Tree nurseries are vital to the existence and well-being of our environment to live in. Beside to being a source of employment for the societies, tree nurseries are the main sources of healthy seedlings. Thus, cultivation according to physiological guidelines is essential to produce plants with maximum survival and growth potential (Lavender, 1984). Actually, the production and growth of seedlings depends on the environmental condition. For instance, successful seedling establishment and growth depends on the soil condition and the stored soil moisture to ensure survival into the next growing season (Warren et al., 2005). Environmental factors such as light, moisture, nutrients, density, and temperature and plant physiological factors such as carbohydrate reserves, hormone levels, frost hardiness, and dormancy interact to shape growth and survival of seedlings in nursery fields and after out planting (Lavender, 1984). Therefore, in the nursery the production of trees which survive is considered more important and more likely to succeed than trying to influence the long-term growth of the stand (Donald, 1979).

In recent years the attention of ecologists, researchers and scientists given to the impact of climate change on the forests and the management strategies aimed at assisting forests to adapt to climate change. However, it’s seldom observed that implementation of these strategies to the sources of forest plants specifically tree nursery production. The increasing severity of climate impacts and vulnerability of forest ecosystem mean that the sources of planting materials to maintain the sustainability of forest and its management need more attention. Thus, we need to develop a range of flexible strategies to ensure sufficient volume of planting materials (Broadhurst

 et al., 2016); to give a wider recognition throughout the industry and meet the planting objectives sustainably (Whittet et al., 2016).  

 

Artificial Regeneration of Degraded Lands, Seedlings Survival and Climate Change

 

Forest degradation is the most critical environmental problems in the 21st century. Although the biggest deforestation was made in the 20th century, it’s still increasing worryingly (Kest, 2015). Human footprint has affected 83% of the global terrestrial land surface (Sanderson et al., 2002). In addition to the deforestation, both natural and plantation forest are facing challenges of climate change, increased demand, and damage by pests and diseases (Ennosa et al., 2019). As a result, approximately 60% of the services that support life on Earth are being degraded or used unsustainably (Hassan R et al., 2005). To reverse the effects of deforestation, restoration determinations have expanded the efforts and humankind is experiencing historical momentum that favors forest restoration (Shimamoto et al., 2018 and Jacobs et al., 2015); however, restoration and/or regeneration of degraded land is a major challenging issue due to exacerbated current climate change.

International conventions and national policies for biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation state the need for increased forest protection, forest restoration and adaptation of forest management to climate change (Löf et al., 2019). For the success of the convention and policies of rehabilitation of degraded lands, tree seedlings are important as they are the foundation of many terrestrial ecosystem (Haase, 2018). Thus, foresters and nursery managers will need to reconsider the selection, production, and out planting of native trees in a dynamic context (Williams & Dumroese, 2014). As a solution to forest degradation, millions of hectares of land to be restored worldwide in the century, planting of seedlings or natural rehabilitation is required.

An artificial regeneration is a method of recovering and/or afforesting degraded or lifeless land by human intervention such as planting, sowing or other artificial methods. Whereas, the natural regeneration is achieved by a passive method where regeneration of degraded land taken place by gradual processes. Artificial regeneration method is needed for regulated species composition, quick results, and better yield. However, it’s relatively expensive method of rehabilitation of degraded land (Moreira et al., 2009). On top of its expensiveness, harsh environmental condition results an impediments to the establishment and survival of forest trees in degraded lands (Uhl, 1988).

Literatures state that nursery cultural, health of seedlings and silvicultural practices have a strong influence on seedling performance immediately after planting (Grossnickle, 2012 and Mathers et al., 2007). However, the potential of young seedlings to adapt to the new environment and the influence of the surrounding environmental condition are more severe in influencing the survival. For instance, the extreme drought or heavy freezing of the ground immediately after planting are another factors influencing the survival of young seedlings. As the seedlings are transplanted from their source of origin; nursery, where there’s care and treatment (Krishnan et al., 2014), exposing them to the new environment might result in survival failure problem. In this case, the capacity of newly planted seedlings initiate growth and become coupled into the forest ecosystem, thereby avoiding water stress are critical factors for success of a forest restoration program (Grossnickle 2005a). On the other hand, climate change is another factor in influencing the survival of recently planted seedlings. Depending on the region and emission scenario, changes in temperature and precipitation are expected to reduce habitat suitability for species (Phillips et al., 2018). Habitat suitability could be related with change in precipitation, temperature, water stress, invasive species, competition and related factors which influence the survival of seedlings.

 

Choice of Species for successful Forest Rehabilitation in the changing climate

 

Restoration and rehabilitation of degraded forest has been highlighted as an important intervention for climate mitigation because the carbon storage potential by reducing the vulnerability to the climate change (Locatelli et al., 2015). However, the choice of plantation species is likely to greatly influence both the rate and trajectory of rehabilitation processes (Parrotta, 1992). Mainly in the developing countries there is a lack of successful selection of species adapted to local conditions (Lu et al., 2017). For instance, countries in Africa and Europe the fast growing exotic species like Eucalyptus, Sitka spruce, and grand fir are introduced and promoted for their economic benefits. However, promotion of non-native tree species can also create new ecological risks, negative effect on the nature conservation, affect management and attention to indigenous trees, and lead to loss of biodiversity (Solomon and Moon, 2018; Hasenauer et al., 2017; Hughes, 1994 and Roy et al., 2012).

In fact the rehabilitation and survival or species success depends on plantation site quality (Pedraza and Williams-Linera, 2003), there is a need to develop or use a type of framework for appropriate selection of the most suitable multipurpose species (Reubens et al., 2011). Because, restoration, rehabilitation, reforestation and general forest plantations projects are undertaken for a variety of environmental, economic and social objectives (Simula et al., 2011). Also, rehabilitation of degraded land requires recognition of the place of forests in the culture of each society to integrate the rehabilitation and rural development (Lamb & Tomlinson, 1994). Furthermore, this is required to develop responsibility in between the society and so as to develop the approach of participatory forest management (PFM).


 

 

Figure 1: Criteria for the selection of trees for the rehabilitation of degraded lands (FAO, 1999; Burley, 1980)

 

 


Degradation of land is a worldwide problem that is caused by human activity (Sarah and Zonana, 2015). Changes in climate are recognized as one of the major factors responsible for land degradation (Kumar and Das, 2014). Climate change presents a significant potential risks to forests and challenges for forest managers (Keenan, 2015). Moreover, the current climate change scenarios predicts significant changes to regional rainfall and storm patterns (IPCC, 2007). Because, global mean surface temperature has increased, showing a warming of 0.85 [0.65 to 1.06] °C, over the period 1880 to 2012 (IPCC, 2017). Thus, as the land degradation either caused by human being or natural is continues process, the continuity and severity of the problem is unquestionable. Therefore, rehabilitation and restoration of forest ecosystems are in growing demand to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and desertification major environmental problems of our time (Thomas et al., 2014). For the success of rehabilitation of degraded land, monoculture plantation should focus on multipurpose of the forests thereby to supply products and/or services with the reference of natural forests values (Kobayashi, 2007). 

 

Planting Exotic Species for Rehabilitation of Degraded Lands: Solution or a Problem?

 

The challenge for ecologists, foresters, scientists and environmentalists is developing or establishing environmentally friendly, socially acceptable, economically viable as well as biologically sustainable planted forests. However, few attempts have been made to evaluate the costs and benefits of restoration interventions even though this information is relevant to orient decision making in policy of the land restoration (Schiappacasse et al., 2012). For instance, monocultures of exotic timber species (e.g., Acacia, Eucalyptus, Pinus, Paraserianthes falcataria, and Gmelina arborea) continue to be favored in commercial plantations for their well-known silviculture and productivity (FAO, 2001). But, mixed-species plantations with two, three or four species can be more productive and have more advantages in biodiversity, economy and forest health over monocultures (Liua et al., 2018 and Aerts and Honnay, 2011). And this process is said to be restoration (Lamb, 1994); where some original species plus where necessary, exotic species are used to reforest of the site.  

There are debatable ideas about the establishment of monoculture plantation mainly for biodiversity conservation (Braun et al., 2017). Different literatures reported that the use of exotic species for rehabilitation of degraded land has a benefits for the conservation of biodiversity (Brockerhoff et al., 2008; D’Antonio and Meyerson, 2002); whereas others are suggesting planation of indigenous tree species are used rather than exotic species to maintain functions of forests (Bremer and Farley, 2010; Jha et al., 2013; Lamb, 1994; Putwain and Gillham, 1990; Braun et al., 2017). The following table depicts the disadvantages of planting exotic trees instead of the planation of indigenous tree species to rehabilitate degraded forests and its impacts on the core (production, service and protection) function of forests.


 

 

Disadvantages of planting exotic species for rehabilitation

Sources

Some of the species have a tendency of turning out to be invasive, use of repeated rotation in production cause infestation, 

Yirdaw et al., 2014; Carandang and Lasco, 1998

Require a lot of fertile land, cause elimination of natural forests for replacement, extensive management

Liu et al,  2018; Wyk et al., 2006; Watt et al., 2009

Exotic species monocultures may change natural habitat conditions typically in ways that do not support biodiversity of native species

Hooper et al., 2002

Exotic species can’t recover the original ecosystem and biodiversity

Lamb, 1994

Exotic species are susceptible to increased disease and pest risk

Holmes, 1983

 

 


Thus, as the rehabilitation of degraded forests is one of the possible pathways to solve the problem of our environment, restoration works by indigenous species should be encouraged. A good success story of rehabilitation of forest greening implemented by S. Korea, from five significant contribution i.e. forest survey and inventory, tree improvement, tree planting and tendering, and forest health management. The country used forest production based on selecting suitable species, preparing seedlings, and plant and mature the trees properly is successful story of forest greening aligned with economic growth (Park et al., 2017).

 

 

CONCLUSIONS

 

In recent years, numerous articles have addressed sustainable management of forests and strategies supporting forests to adapt to climate change. Effects of climate change on the distribution, quantity and quality of forest is clear and many forest ecosystem have been shaped by climate change. Lessons learnt from these facts led to sustainable forest management where control of deforestation, restoration and/or rehabilitation of degraded forest lands are the main components. As restoration, rehabilitation, reforestation and general forest plantations projects are undertaken for a variety of environmental, economic and social objectives, sustainable forest management component should focus on the restoration of degraded lands by indigenous species. In this case the selection of suitable species for rehabilitation work should get consideration. Because, selecting suitable species is the most important issue for bare land reforestation, degraded secondary forest restoration, and single-species plantation transformation (Wang and Meng, 2018).

 

 

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Cite this Article: Hyunshik, M; Tamirat, S (2019). Forest Production, Restoration and Management under Climate Change. Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences 9(3): 337-343, https://doi.org/10.15580/GJAS.2019.3.080719153