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Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 609; doi:10.3390/su10030609

Vegetation Succession on Degraded Sites in the Pomacochas Basin (Amazonas, N Peru)—Ecological Options for Forest Restoration

Faculty of Resource Management, HAWK University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Büsgenweg 1a, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
Silviculture and Forest Ecology of the Temperate Zones, University of Göttingen, Büsgenweg 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
Centre of Biodiversity and Sustainable Land Use—CBL, Platz der Göttinger Sieben 5, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
Instituto de Investigación para el Desarrollo Sustentable de Ceja de Selva, INDES-CES, Campus Universitario, Calle Universitaria N° 304, Chachapoyas, Amazonas 01001, Peru
Faculty of Liberal Arts and Humanities, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru—PUCP, Av. Universitaria 1801, San Miguel, Lima 32, Peru
Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Piazza Università 5, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 11 February 2018 / Accepted: 24 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Ecology and Forest Management)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3185 KB, uploaded 27 February 2018]   |  


The Andes of northern Peru are still widely covered with forests, but increasingly suffer from habitat fragmentation. Subsequent soil degradation often leads to the abandonment of overused forests and pastures. Ecological knowledge on the restoration potential, e.g., on dependencies of soil conditions and altitude, is scarce. Therefore, we compared soil and vegetation patterns along nine transects within the upper Pomacochas Basin, which is an important biodiversity corridor along the Andes, between remaining forests, succession sites and pastures. Anthropogenic successional and disturbance levels, geological substrate, and altitude have the most important ecological impacts on vegetation and tree species composition. Species responded to sandstone versus calcareous substrates, but also to depths of the organic soil layer, and light conditions. The absence of organic layers under pastures contrasted with the accumulation of thick organic layers under forest cover. Vegetation composition at succession sites revealed certain starting points (herbal stage, bush stage, or secondary forest) for restoration that will determine the length of regeneration paths. Pre-forest patches of Alchornea sp. and Parathesis sp. may act as habitat stepping stones for expeditiously restoring biocorridors for wildlife. The key findings can contribute to the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity in a fragile ecoregion. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil-plant relationships; biocorridors; yungas; secondary vegetation; fragmentation soil-plant relationships; biocorridors; yungas; secondary vegetation; fragmentation

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Walentowski, H.; Heinrichs, S.; Hohnwald, S.; Wiegand, A.; Heinen, H.; Thren, M.; Gamarra Torres, O.A.; Sabogal, A.B.; Zerbe, S. Vegetation Succession on Degraded Sites in the Pomacochas Basin (Amazonas, N Peru)—Ecological Options for Forest Restoration. Sustainability 2018, 10, 609.

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