Associate Editor, Sharif Mukul speaks to the co-lead author of this month’s Editor’s Choice article, Stuart Smith, which presents results from a systematic review of tropical peat swamp forests reforestation projects across Southeast Asia.
The restoration of degraded forested lands is a global priority, incentivised by international commitments to counteract decades of rapid deforestation. However, syntheses using seedling monitoring data from past reforestation projects remain rare, particularly in the tropics. Smith and colleagues show advancing peat swamp reforestation requires planting more species, involving slower growing species, trialing species screening using plant traits, and testing treatments adequately.
In this podcast, Sharif Mukul and Stuart Smith discuss what inspired the research, the main findings, the challenges of undertaking a synthesis of this scope, and their hopes that their work will encourage transparency and data sharing for future syntheses of peat swamp forest restoration and other tropical forests.
Read the full paper Tree species that ‘live slow, die older’ enhance tropical peat swamp restoration: Evidence from a systematic review in Journal of Applied Ecology