Watts SH & Jump AS (2022) The benefits of mountain woodland restoration. Restoration Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/rec.13701
Mountain woodland ecotones require urgent action to reverse long-term habitat degradation and biodiversity loss. There is growing interest in restoring high-elevation woodland and scrub communities, harnessing planting and natural regeneration. Emissions offsetting has been a key driver, yet mountain systems offer slower mechanisms for biomass accumulation due to their typically smaller size, lower density and slower growth than forests at lower elevations. We argue that the natural capital afforded by mountain woodland restoration is far more comprehensive than carbon sequestration alone and encompasses an important array of ecosystem services and biodiversity gains. Improved opportunities for wildlife and people include natural hazard protection, sheltering, structural variability, vegetation diversity and recreation. Furthermore, mountain woodland restoration provides critically needed nature- based solutions for reducing threats from escalating climate change such as soil erosion, flooding, warming temperatures and extreme weather. It is imperative that these benefits are embedded within conservation policy and environmental incentives.
Biodiversity; Climate change; Conservation policy; Ecosystem services; Environmental management; Montane scrub; Natural capital; Nature-based solutions
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