Navigation Links
Gauging what it takes to heal a disaster-ravaged forest
Date:2/24/2014

Recovering from natural disasters usually means rebuilding infrastructure and reassembling human lives. Yet ecologically sensitive areas need to heal, too, and scientists are pioneering new methods to assess nature's recovery and guide human intervention.

The epicenter of China's devastating Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 was in the Wolong Nature Reserve, a globally important valuable biodiversity hotspot and home to the beloved and endangered giant pandas. Not only did the quake devastate villages and roads, but the earth split open and swallowed sections of the forests and bamboo groves that shelter and feed pandas and other endangered wildlife. Persistent landslides and erosion exacerbated the devastation.

Typically such natural damage is assessed with remote sensing, which can be limited in fine details. Scientists at Michigan State University (MSU) and in China embarked on a dangerous boots-on-the-ground effort to understand how well the trees, bamboo and critical ground cover were recovering. Their work, which is relevant to disaster areas worldwide, is reported in this week's Forest Ecology and Management.

"Across the world, people are investing billions of dollars to protect valuable natural areas, as well as making enormous investments in restoring such areas after natural disasters," said Jianguo "Jack" Liu, director of MSU's Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, and a co-author. "It's important we develop ways to understand the fine points of how well recovery efforts are working, so we can direct resources in the right places effectively."

Jindong Zhang, a post-doctoral research associate in CSIS, spent several months over a period of four years in Wolong dodging landslides, mudslides and rubble strewn roads to survey forest recovery at a finer scale than can be observed from satellites and getting a better handle on the nuances of tree species, height and soil conditions. The data was then combined with that from satellite imagery.

What was found was that much of the natural areas were on the road to recovery, and that China's $17 million effort at replanting native trees and bamboo were helping in areas handicapped by poor soil and growing conditions.

They also noted that such efforts could benefit from more targeting of areas most favored by pandas. The replanting efforts were done by local residents.

"We witnessed pretty intense periods when it seemed like everyone in the target areas were out planting," said co-author Vanessa Hull, a CSIS doctoral candidate who studies panda habitat in Wolong. "My field assistants also joined in on the village-wide efforts. It was pretty neat to see."

But a potential downside to such efforts was that most of the available labor was near villages, and pandas shy from human contact. That meant that some of the best assisted-forest recovery was in areas not favored by pandas. Hull noted, however, that there could be an upside to that. Healthier forests could mean local residents have less need to venture into more far-flung panda-friendly forests.

"We wanted to know if the benefit of this effort was matching up to the investment which was significant," Hull said. "It's an important question, and the world needs good ways to evaluate it as natural disasters are growing in frequency and intensity."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sue Nichols
nichols@msu.edu
517-432-0206
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Lesotho takes new steps toward HIV/AIDS elimination
2. Are anti-poaching efforts repeating the mistakes of the war on drugs?
3. Algae to crude oil: Million-year natural process takes minutes in the lab
4. Biometric-Mobile Wallet Technology Takes Aims at a Target Market Of Nearly $1Billion Potential
5. Battle against resistant bacteria takes huge leap forward
6. Rats! Humans and rodents process their mistakes
7. ISFM takes a stand on welfare of unowned cats
8. Studies support population-based efforts to lower excessive dietary sodium intakes
9. Zeal to ensure clean leafy greens takes bite out of riverside habitat in California
10. New lung cancer study takes page from Googles playbook
11. Research secured for the future: Pensoft Publishers takes on CLOCKSS archival technology
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Gauging what it takes to heal a disaster-ravaged forest
(Date:4/13/2017)... Calif. , April 13, 2017 UBM,s ... York will feature emerging and evolving technology ... Both Innovation Summits will run alongside the expo portion ... speaker sessions, panels and demonstrations focused on trending topics ... largest advanced design and manufacturing event will take place ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... April 11, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... company, announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin ... its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and ... Gino Pereira ... look forward to their guidance and benefiting from their considerable ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... , April 4, 2017   EyeLock LLC , ... that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ... covers the linking of an iris image with a ... and represents the company,s 45 th issued patent. ... is very timely given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... Oct. 11, 2017  VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider of ... oncology Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) network, which will launch this ... communication among health care professionals to enhance the patient care ... staff, and other health care professionals to help women who ... ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are the ... million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected by air ... one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. , “I ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal ... the treatment of osteosarcoma. SBT-100 is able to cross the cell membrane and ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... (ADC) therapeutics, today confirmed licensing rights that give it exclusive global access ... developed in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). Additionally, an ...
Breaking Biology Technology: