For more than 20 years, a research group has studied a patch of forest in West Africa’s Ivory Coast to determine if this is the case, and how quickly the ecosystem can return to its original state after an apparent cut. In the trade newspaper “Forest Environment and Management” Come to the end now: maybe not at all. For example, even after more than 40 years of deforestation, some species of frogs have not yet migrated. Some may not migrate for the foreseeable future, even if neighboring forest areas remain intact.
The team around Ivorian Flora Kapane focused on frogs because amphibians are good indicators of ecosystem health due to their often different site requirements. The fact that 4 of the 33 species of frogs have not yet returned to the forest in Tao National Park, where the wood was cut in 1970, is a worrying sign for the team’s scientists.
So far, foresters have assumed that it will take about 30 years to regenerate the forest and that “you can only consider using it economically again,” says co-author Raphael Ernst of the Senckenberg Natural History Groups in Dresden. “We now see that it will likely take 40 to 60 years before the original ecosystem is restored in terms of depth and width.” Above all, the large trees that give structure would be missing in the regrown forest.
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