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International Journal of Forestry Research
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 683017, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/683017
Research Article

Rehabilitation of Degraded Tropical Rainforest Using Dipterocarp Trees in Sarawak, Malaysia

1United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Ehime University, Matsuyama 790-8566, Japan
2Tokushima Center for Climate Change Actions, 1-23 Higashiokinosu, Tokushima 770-0873, Japan
3Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Tsukuba 305-8687, Japan
4Forest Department Sarawak, 8th Floor, Wisma Sumber Alam, Jalan Stadium, Petra Jaya, 93660 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
5Faculty of Agriculture, Ehime University, Matsuyama, Ehime 790-8566, Japan
6Faculty of Agriculture, Kochi University, Nankoku 783-8502, Japan

Received 23 March 2013; Revised 28 July 2013; Accepted 16 August 2013

Academic Editor: Brian C. McCarthy

Copyright © 2013 Hattori Daisuke et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

To develop rehabilitation planting techniques in tropical degraded forests, we investigated (1) basic soil characteristics and light conditions; (2) growth and survival of seven dipterocarp seedlings over 81 months; and (3) the effect of environmental factors on the survival of seedlings grown in three degraded vegetations (grassland, secondary forest, and logged forest) in Sarawak, Malaysia. The soil was weakly acidic, and kaolin minerals dominated. The amount of exchangeable bases in surface soils, soil temperature (>35°C), and relative light intensity were all highest in the grassland. Seedling growth was also highest in the grassland, whereas many seedlings died there over 81 months. Growth and survivability were very similar in secondary and logged forests. The death of the seedlings in the grassland was attributable to an extremely high light intensity for all species. In contrast, the seedling growth rate in all species was also enhanced by light intensity. In conclusion, dipterocarp seedlings can be planted on highly degraded land such as grassland, although high light intensity limits their survival. Planting under nurse trees such as regenerated pioneer trees may be an effective method to enhance seedling survival under open conditions such as grassland.