Assessing rainforest restoration: the value of buffer strips for the recovery of rainforest remnants in Australia's Wet Tropics

  • Published source details Sonter L., Metcalfe D. & Mayfield M. (2011) Assessing rainforest restoration: the value of buffer strips for the recovery of rainforest remnants in Australia's Wet Tropics. Pacific Conservation Biology, 16, 274-288.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Maintain/create buffer zones

Action Link
Forest Conservation
  1. Maintain/create buffer zones

    A site comparison in 2008 in two remnants of complex mesophyll vine forests in North Queensland, Australia (Sonter, Metcalfe & Mayfield 2011) found that a forest edge protected by a planted buffer strip had higher canopy cover and lower stem density, but similar understory species richness to a forest edge with no buffer. Canopy cover in the buffered forest edge (approx. 90%) was higher than that along the edge with no planted buffer (approx. 75%). Similarly, stem density along the buffered edge (approx. 4 trees/m2) was lower than along the unbuffered edge (approx. 14 trees/m2). However, there was no difference in species richness of the understory between the buffered (approx. 1.3 species/m2) and unbuffered edge (approx. 2.4 species/m2). The 30 m wide buffer had been planted 14 years earlier and consisted of 80 different plant species planted 1.8 m apart. The surrounding area consisted of pastures and maintained lawns. The vegetation at each forest edge was sampled using ten 40 m transects, perpendicular to the buffer and the unbuffered forest edge respectively. Each transect contained ten quadrats (1 × 1 m).


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