Global Reforestation Assessment: A Case Study of Reforestation and Species Survival in a Southeastern Madagascar Community



King, Eleanor

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Tropical forests and biodiversity are currently imperiled by deforestation. Madagascar is home to a unique assemblage of species found no place else on earth, yet its forests are at high risk of deforestation due to increasing human populations, rising poverty, and climate change. Reforestation has been recommended as a solution to forest loss and lost biodiversity, but fires, monitoring the success of existing projects, and low accessibility to remote areas are but a few of the myriad of difficulties surrounding reforestation projects. In order to bring back the forests through reforestation, there is a need for assessment of reforestation success and a list of the most adaptable or ecologically important species in existing reforestation projects. My thesis research takes a case study approach which summarizes information from known reforestation projects in Madagascar and focuses on long-term data from one specific reforestation project in Ranomafana, Madagascar to analyze which species have grown the most and been most successful toward reforestation efforts. For the first chapter, I summarize information from seven reforestation projects in Madagascar and draw the following conclusions: 1) that small-scale restoration has been successful; and 2) that consistent monitoring, forest fires, and species selection questions are ongoing problems for reforestation efforts. For my second chapter, my primary research question is to determine whether the reforestation plots in Ranomafana have experienced success in terms of change in growth and survival rates. Results will be used by restoration ecologists in Madagascar to develop additional documents for each tree species in conjunction with existing phenological data for the Centre ValBio research station in Madagascar. The results will fill a vital role as an assessment of reforestation efforts’ effectiveness around Ranomafana and provide valuable insights for reforestation efforts in other parts of Madagascar.



Madagascar, Ranomafana, Ranomafana National Park, Habitat restoration, Reforestation ecology