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Large-scale afforestation for ecosystem service provisioning: learning from the past to improve the future

Abstract: Context Afforestation is one of the major drivers of land cover change in the world. In spite of its multiple applications, forest generation has been fostered during the last century to achieve few specific objectives such as timber production or catchment erosion protection. However, new afforestation programs are required to meet multiple objectives such as carbon sequestration, reducing environmental risks and enhance biodiversity conservation to reach sustainability. Objectives Assessing the general efficiency of past large-scale afforestation programs on the provision of ecosystem services (ES) and other socio-ecological attributes. We also determined whether this efficiency depended on the type of ecosystem used for comparison. Methods We carried out a semi-quantitative meta-analysis from 75 studies analyzing the effects of 128 afforestation actions developed in one of the EU countries with larger areas of afforested land during the twentieth century. Results Spanish afforestation policy improved timber provision and carbon sequestration. However, our results show that afforestation programs did not enhance regulating ES when compared to natural land plots, but only when compared to highly degraded areas prior to restoration actions. Conclusions Large-scale afforestations have difficulties in assuring the provisioning of regulating ES and the conservation of biodiversity when only productivity criteria are prioritized. Our results suggest the need for an afforestation agenda that embraces more comprehensive landscape management approaches that allow reducing undesired ES trade-offs while getting multiple objectives from different ecosystems.

 Fuente: Landscape Ecology 2021, 36, 3329-3343

Editorial: Springer Nature

 Año de publicación: 2021

Nº de páginas: 15

Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1007/s10980-021-01306-7

ISSN: 1572-9761,0921-2973

Url de la publicación: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-021-01306-7