Forest restoration must navigate trade-offs between environmental and wood production goals

New research shows forest restoration schemes should prioritise restoring native forests for greatest climate and environmental benefits. However these benefits have a trade-off with wood production in comparison with tree plantations.

The faster growth of trees in plantations managed for timber or pulp production implies greater uptake of water from the soil, which leaves less water for replenishing the groundwater reserves that sustain streams, especially in drier areas. To make matters worse, trees in such plantations are typically harvested more frequently than those in native forests, leading to greater soil disturbance and poorer streamflow regulation.”

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