CATIE and CIRAD presented results on the ecological and timber potential of secondary forests

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FTA communications

Originally posted on CATIE’s website.

The results are based on research on the characterization of biomass accumulation potential in secondary forests in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and the contribution of timber species to this potential.

Scientists from CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) and the Center for International Cooperation in Agronomic Research (CIRAD), in collaboration with the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC, its Spanish acronym) of Costa Rica, held the webinar Potential of secondary forests, in which the results of research on the ecological and timber potential of secondary forests in Nicaragua and Costa Rica were presented, as well as the economic and environmental impact they can generate in tropical landscapes.

Marie Ange NgoBieng, a researcher at CATIE’s Forests and Biodiversity in Productive Landscapes Unit who led the research, explained that two-thirds of tropical forests are secondary or degraded and are equally relevant for the ecosystem services they provide, yet they are very vulnerable.

The activity presented the current context characterized by the vulnerability of tropical secondary forests and introduced the potential of these secondary forests to respond to the current challenges of forest systems, mainly in terms of timber supply.

In addition, from the research results presented by NgoBieng, the importance of these forests was concluded: secondary forests effectively sequester carbon from the atmosphere in their biomass, thus contributing to climate change mitigation. Also, the existence of a significant timber potential in secondary forests was highlighted, meaning that the contribution of timber species in the aboveground biomass of the plots is very significant.

“Disseminating these research results provides an extremely interesting and novel scientific basis for the planning and implementation of sustainable forest management in secondary forests, which will contribute to the well-being of producers, post-COVID19 economic revival and climate change mitigation,” said Bryan Finegan, director of Inclusive Green Development Research, who introduced the webinar.

According to NgoBieng, during the event there was an exchange of ideas about secondary forests in Latin America, taking into account not only ecological and timber production aspects, but also other important but less studied ecosystem services, such as the production of medicinal plants and the conservation of native and endemic species, among others. Her presentation is downloadable here.

The webinar, which took place on March 26 with the participation of more than 140 professionals from Mexico, Central and South America, was funded by the Forests, Trees and Agro-forestry (FTA) research program for the development of forests, trees and agro-forestry and its financial partners. Participants in the webinar included researchers, professors, students, politicians and representatives of indigenous institutions.

The results of this work are presented in a scientific article submitted to the special issue on active restoration of secondary and degraded forest of the scientific international review Forest Ecology and Management, co-edited by Marie Ange Ngo Bieng, Plinio sist and Bryan Finegan, scientists of Cirad and CATIE.


More information:

Marie Ange NgoBieng
CATIE’s Unit of Forests and Biodiversity in Productive Landscapes


Written by: 

Daniel Cedeño Ramírez
Communications Assistant
Information Technology and Communication

FTA is the world’s largest research for development program to enhance the role of forests, trees and agroforestry in sustainable development and food security and to address climate change. CIFOR leads FTA in partnership with ICRAF, the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, CATIE, CIRAD, INBAR and TBI. FTA’s work is supported by the CGIAR Trust Fund.

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