Study demonstrated that trees with nitrogen-fixing are more abundant in tropical secondary forests, dry and young
- The nitrogen fixation is considered momentous in degraded lands of seasonally dry zones, thus encourage restoration
June 11, 2018. Recently a broad study, published by the Nature Ecology and Evolution (NEE) magazine, demonstrated, that trees with nitrogen fixing from the Leguminosae family are abundant in tropical secondary forests of the seasonally dry and young zones, than in secondary forests of humid zones and with more development time, which is considered momentous data for degraded landscapes restoration thus the nitrogen fixation encourages these processes.
The study is a product of the collaborative research network on secondary forests 2ndFOR, led by Maga Gei, Danaë Rozendaal and Jennifer Powers from the University of Minnesota, in the United States and the University of Wageningen, in Holland. Additionally, it had as coauthors, recognized researchers such as Bryan Finegan, Forests, Biodiversity, and Climate Change Program leader of CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) and Vanessa Granda, graduate from the Institution.
For its development, the study reunited data from 1207 parcels out of 42 researchers about secondary Neotropical forests.
According to Finegan, the found result expands the potential of natural nitrogenized natural fertilization and the carbon dioxide sequestration in areas that are recovered from degradation due to unappropriated uses of land.
“The biological nitrogen fixation is a key contribution to the cycles of this nutrient of primary importance in plant nutrition and productivity of ecosystems. The rest of the plants in an ecosystem in restauration process are benefited by nitrogen fixation of tree species when leaves of these fall down to the floor and decompose”, explained Finegan.
Also, Finegan added that the degraded lands restoration is an issue of critical importance of our era and that the lack of nitrogen often limits restoration, for which fixation without any doubt facilitates restoration processes overcoming this limitation.
Another important aspect to rescue is, that according to Finegan, his results may help countries and their efforts to confront climate change, in front of the frequent and intense droughts on the Pacific side of Central America and the Caribbean islands, thus, in it, there are very well detailed how the characteristics of the trees of this family are adapted to this climatic context to grow and contribute to ecosystems sustainability and in that way sequester carbon and contribute to mitigation.
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Forests, Biodiversity and Climate Change
Karla Salazar Leiva
Information, Technology and Communication