ABSTRACT: Mountainous land in Haiti is highly degraded following decades of deforestation and erosion. Although mountainous landscapes represent an important target for forest recovery, there is a lack of empirical information to guide reforestation of sloping tropical lands. Using sapling survival data from 299 replicated reforestation plots planted with 24 dry forest species during 2007–2008 in Haiti, we examined the association of sapling survival with topographical, climatic, and landscape level variables. Our analysis indicates that the total number of surviving saplings was strongly correlated to sites with higher water availability, including sites with greater precipitation in dry months and sites with cooler (N/E) exposures. Sites with more adult remnant trees had higher sapling survival. Sapling survival was also improved by the use of best management practices of building micro-catchments and planting multiple sapling species into reforestation plots. Year effects were also significant and modified the effects of exposure, nurse trees, and soil rockiness. This temporal variation suggests sapling responses to environmental factors are sensitive to variation in rainfall.
Ecological Restoration – University of Wisconsin Press
Published: Nov 2, 2016