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Even After Plantations Are Abandoned Primary Forests Do Not Return

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Eucalyptus plantations in southern India that were abandoned and left to recover for nearly 40 years are still far from resembling the primary forest surrounding them.

Eucalyptus plantations in southern India that were abandoned and left to recover for nearly 40 years are still far from resembling the primary forest surrounding them, a new study has found. This, researchers say, suggests that once disturbed for long, forests may never bounce back to their original forms.

In India, eucalyptus has often been the tree of choice when it comes to restoring degraded forests: it grows quickly, is hardy, and requires little care. But can these plantations, when left alone and allowed to regenerate, grow into the forests they replaced?

To find out, researchers turned their attention to the southern stretch of the Western Ghats in India.

In the past century, large parts of wet evergreen forest in what is now Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu state were cleared to make way for plantations including tea, coffee, and cardamom. Vast forested areas were also felled for eucalyptus plantations, with the timber mainly to be used as fuelwood for the tea industry. However, with the establishment of KMTR in 1988 and a subsequent logging ban, many plantations were eventually abandoned and the area has been on a path of recovery ever since. Some plantations have now been regenerating for nearly 40 years.



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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !