Analog forestry as a tool for ecological restoration in a forest planted with Eucalyptus globulus at Hacienda el Paraíso, Imbabura province. (2020)

Author: Cinthya Nicole Carrasco Hinojosa

Location: Hacienda el Paraíso, Imbabura province, Ecuador

The Hacienda el Paraíso served for more than 35 years as a monoculture of Eucalyptus globulus, which resulted in the loss of biodiversity, soil degradation and erosion, reduction of water resources, and landscape fragmentation. Therefore, the objective of this project was to use an analog forestry approach to restore the forest planted with E. globulus and to provide economic resources for the local community.

  • The researchers carried out three transects - two in a forest planted with E.globulus (6 and 35 years old) and one in a secondary forest (considered as a reference in the analog forestry proposal).
  • The results showed that the values measured in the first two transects (corresponding to the E.globulus forest) were below the sustainability threshold due to high soil erosion, low biological activity, poor biodiversity, fragility, and structural instability (Figure).
  • The comparative analysis of biodiversity and carbon gaps provided information about the environmental stability of each forest system and showed floristic diversity and different carbon content. Diversity values were low in the planted forest and medium in the secondary forest.
  • The species with the greatest potential for ecological restoration were: Oreopanax ecuadorensis, Myrcianthes hallii, M. pubescens and E. laurifolia