Establishment of pilot restoration plots in the biodiversity compensation area of the hydrological powerplant of Ituango
The project aims to test restoration approaches across a gradient of increasing intensity of intervention to cost-effectively re-establish native tropical dry forest vegetation in the biodiversity compensation area (13,000ha) of the Hydroelectric Power plant of Ituango, Colombia. Restoration interventions will vary from natural regeneration (least expensive) to the establishment of diversity nodes that concentrate native diversity (most expensive), and intermediary interventions for which a decision-support tool will be used which was developed during a previous project phase and is intended to guide restoration practitioners with the selection of the appropriate planting material for the tree-based restoration of tropical dry forest at any given site in Colombia.
Progress and next steps
The different experimental plots that will be established are currently being selected, delimited and fenced. Based on the description of the conditions at sites where active planting is envisaged, the online decision-support tool (ww.restool.org) will be used. This tool was developed during a previous phase of the project to determine different options of tree species combinations that enhance their resistance to locally prevailing stress factors and best contribute to the objective of the restoration intervention to recover the original forest diversity.
The installation of the experimental design should be completed by May 2017 at the latest. This period of approximately 6 months is necessary because the treatments involving tree planting will require obtaining seed of the right origin and quality, which then need to be grown into seedlings that can be transplanted. Furthermore, the dry season has started in the intervention zone and runs at least until April 2017. During the dry season tree planting is practically impossible because of high mortality rates.
This project is carried out by Bioversity International, in collaboration with the Colombian Alexander Von Humboldt Institute and is implemented in the field by the restoration company FORESTPA.