Opportunities for biodiversity gains under the world’s largest reforestation programme

Hua, Fangyuan, Wang, Xiaoyang, Zheng, Xinlei, Fisher, Brendan, Wang, Lin, Zhu, Jianguo, Tang, Ya, Yu, Douglas W. and Wilcove, David S. (2016) Opportunities for biodiversity gains under the world’s largest reforestation programme. Nature Communications, 7. ISSN 2041-1723

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Abstract

Reforestation is a critical means of addressing the environmental and social problems of deforestation. China’s Grain-for-Green Program (GFGP) is the world’s largest reforestation scheme. Here we provide the first nationwide assessment of the tree composition of GFGP forests and the first combined ecological and economic study aimed at understanding GFGP’s biodiversity implications. Across China, GFGP forests are overwhelmingly monocultures or compositionally simple mixed forests. Focusing on birds and bees in Sichuan Province, we find that GFGP reforestation results in modest gains (via mixed forest) and losses (via mono- cultures) of bird diversity, along with major losses of bee diversity. Moreover, all current modes of GFGP reforestation fall short of restoring biodiversity to levels approximating native forests. However, even within existing modes of reforestation, GFGP can achieve greater biodiversity gains by promoting mixed forests over monocultures; doing so is unlikely to entail major opportunity costs or pose unforeseen economic risks to households.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2016 00:54
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2019 22:47
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/60266
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12717

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