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:3/20/2017)... 2017 At this year,s CeBIT Chancellor Dr. ... DERMALOG. The Chancellor came to the DERMALOG stand together with the Japanese ... CeBIT partner country. At the largest German biometrics company the two government ... and iris recognition as well as DERMALOG´s multi-biometrics system.   ... ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... 2017 Future of security: Biometric Face Matching software  ... ... DERMALOGs Face Matching enables to match face pictures against each other or ... individuals. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... "Face Matching" is the fastest software for biometric Face Matching on the market. ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... , March 7, 2017 Brandwatch , the leading ... The Prince,s Trust to uncover insights to support its ... Trust. The UK,s leading youth charity will be using ... results and get a better understanding of the topics and issues ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Dr. Robert G. Schwartz, the ... announced today that acclaimed physiatrist Matthew Terzella, MD, has joined the practice as ... Dr. Terzella completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UMDNJ-Robert Wood ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... The 2017 Colorado Manufacturing ... over 30 nominees and well as the first-year award for 2017 Manufacturing Women ... event was hosted by CompanyWeek and Manufacturers Edge, among other sponsors. , ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... , ... Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. (FITCI), a business ... start-ups, is hosting “Celebration Friday” (a festive gathering highlighting client success stories) and ... networking at 3:30 p.m. at FITCI’s 4539 Metropolitan Court location, off English Muffin ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... , ... April 20, 2017 , ... USDM Life ... the life sciences and healthcare industries, is pleased to announce Holger Braemer ... USDM subsidiary “USDM Europe GmbH” based in Germany. , Braemer is an integral ...
Breaking Biology Technology: