Category Archives: secondary forest

Secondary forest on bauxite in Bahia: methods and protocol

Dary Rigueira, Brazilian ecologist at the Universidad Federal da Bahia, Salvador. Dary and myself designed a survey protocol that we hope will suggest suitable species for restoration

Dary Rigueira and myself designed a sample protocol for characterising the vegetation growing on disturbed sites on bauxite. We are hoping that by contrasting sites of different ages and disturbance histories we will be able to identify patterns which point to what determines the assemblages of species growing at a site and help us identify species which may be suitable for the rehabilitation of mined sites.  Our 44 study plots are between 3 and 20 years of age since deforestation and in which deforestation had been accompanied by top soil removal or burning and conversion to pasture or simply allowed to recover. Continue reading Secondary forest on bauxite in Bahia: methods and protocol


Secondary forest on bauxite in Brazil

Secondary forests can be recognized by the species and life-forms that they include and which are notably absent. Also by the uniform diameter of the canopy trees and it’s relatively low stature

Secondary forests are those that grow back in places that have been deforested. They are forests composed of species often known as ‘pioneer’ or ‘secondary’ that are adapted to colonizing disturbed sites and so very different from those that composed the original forest before they were cut down. I have been interested in secondary forests for many years, beginning with my PhD in forest fragments in the Amazon and later working in the secondary forests that dominate Belize and then again in the shade-coffee farms of El Salvador. I find these forests fascinating for several reasons: firstly they are growing rapidly in importance due to extensive deforestation and yet remain poorly studied, secondly they contain species that are often important sources of fuel and materials for local people, and thirdly they contain species that are often able to establish themselves on the incredibly poor soils found in much of the Tropics without recourse to the rich leaf-litter or root-mat layers that enable the original forest to survive, and so are very interesting in their own right. Continue reading Secondary forest on bauxite in Brazil