Can we replant the planet's rainforests?

Rainforests: Cheat Sheet

Stuff you need to know:

  • Deforestation can occur through natural means, such as forest fires, but modern practices like logging, mining and agriculture have all taken a huge additional toll.
  • Once a rainforest is destroyed, not only is a wealth of biodiversity lost, the land where the rainforest once stood is more prone to soil erosion, landslides and flooding.
  • Quick-growing exotic species can be used to plant secondary forests after primary forests have been destroyed in order to help amend critical issues, but it's not a perfect solution.
  • Replanting with non-native species can change the soil composition and make a parcel of land untenable for the expansion of a rainforest's native species. Secondary forests also tend to be poorer in terms of biodiversity.
  • Conservation efforts often aim to plant secondary forests in corridors between remaining islands of primary forest to help prevent species from becoming cut off from one another. This practice bolsters their available habitat while helping prevent extinction in isolation.

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