Because of their relatively high yields, tropical and subtropical plantations have the potential to make substantial contributions to world timber production. They can also serve other functions in economic development, and environmental services such as carbon sequestration. In addition, plantations, particularly those that establish a mixture of native species, can help maintain the diversity of tropical forests.
Agroforestry systems can contribute to accelerating the return of economic investment and serve social and environmental services as well. Several types of agroforestry systems are practiced worldwide, especially in subsistence economies and for restoration of degraded land.
Strategies that can be used in restoration of degraded primary and secondary forests include enrichment planting; improving soil quality through tree plantations and agroforestry systems; using indigenous species as much as possible; using mixed species plantations to accelerate natural succession; and establishing windbreaks, especially with species that offer habitats for animals that disperse seeds.
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