Restoration Of Tropical And Subtropical Grasslands

Authored by: Gerhard Ernst Overbeck , Sandra Cristina Müller

Routledge Handbook of Ecological and Environmental Restoration

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  May  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138922129
eBook ISBN: 9781315685977
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315685977.ch22

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Abstract

Throughout the tropics and subtropics, human action has resulted in large-scale losses of natural vegetation, and land use change continues to occur at a staggering pace in many countries. Conservation needs of tropical forest are well established and forest restoration has become an important field of action, as well as a research field (see Chapter 23). The situation of grasslands, however, is different: even though large parts of the tropics and subtropics are covered by non-forest vegetation, these have not been the focus of much conservation and less so of restoration (e.g. Parr et al. 2014; Overbeck et al. 2015; Veldman et al. 2015a). Among the many reasons, these three may be the most important:

Non-forest systems were and still are undervalued in conservation in many countries, as their presence is often considered a consequence of degradation of originally forested areas.

Their distinct ecological features often are not sufficiently considered, in particular the role of disturbances and management.

Recently, the necessity to mitigate climate change and increase carbon stocks has resulted in a widespread belief that planting of trees is inherently good for conservation – even in situations of afforestation, which clearly have detrimental effects for grasslands (Veldman et al. 2015b).

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