Research into Different Restoration Methods in Malaysia

Some palm oil companies along the Kin-abatangan River in Sabah, Borneo, have agreed to set aside land for restoration. Initial trials showed limited success. Starting in 2004, in an effort to identify the most successful techniques for restoration, tests began using different methods on a small plot of land. These are the methods proposed (during a field visit by the author):

• Natural regeneration with no intervention (including a smaller study area fenced against browsing animals)

• Assisted natural regeneration (mainly some land preparation and weeding around regenerating species)

• Planting with native species (using species adapted to local conditions and including if possible both commercially valuable diptero-carp trees and fruit trees)

• Planting an exotic species as a nurse crop to foster natural regeneration

Each approach is to be monitored on a regular basis in order to determine which one yields the highest survival rates. The long-term aim of this research is to disseminate the most suitable restoration methods in all the areas set aside for restoration along this important biodiversity corridor.

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