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How can we speed-up the forest regeneration?

Image credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/UmncJq4KPcA

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J
Juran Jan 19, 2021
7
Creative contributions

Erosion control blankets (coconut or similar)

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jan 20, 2021
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J
Jurana month ago
This seems like a nice anti-erosion solution, but the area we are talking about is very big and would require a ridiculous amount of these "blankets". Besides the expensiveness, I am not sure how well this blanket responds to fires and also, does it degrade after time or its parts can serve as a fire starter later.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
Juran K. It biodegrades after a year or so. I think it can be made to endure as long as it's needed.

Maybe it could be useful as an experiment then. Cover a 100m2 area and see the difference in growth.

It could be weaved out of local agricultural waste (wheat, etc).

If the recuring fire is an imminent threat then that takes precedence above all other solutions are attempted. This has been talked about here https://brainstorming.com/r/s124

Create fire-resistant trees and plants

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Jamila
Jamila Jan 25, 2021

[1]Singh, Amanjot, and Anil Grover. "Genetic engineering for heat tolerance in plants." Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants 14.1 (2008): 155-166.

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Jurana month ago
Really interesting thoughts, Jamila ! I love the idea of having pine tree forests resistant to wildfires.

By challenging the heat shock response and thermotolerance, we try to metabolically make cell proteins and other molecules resistant to extreme heat. But the wildfires spread so quickly because trees ARE the burning material. Maybe we need a physicist here, but I think the wood itself should be less ignitable then. For example, the pine bark could be modified to endure and "refuse" to burn. In the pine tree example, the reason for that is not only the nature of the wood itself but also the resin, which is very inflammable (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuPRqG9dFys). The pine tree (and similar plants) produce chemicals, such as turpentine. In a discussion (http://archive-srel.uga.edu/outreach/ecoviews/ecoview090222.htm), a scientist explained that the highly inflammable chemicals in the bark of the trees are actually a highly effective mechanism of dealing with regular wildfires. It could be true, but the evolution could go on without these forced clearings of beautiful ancient forests (I believe).

The negative effect of this approach would be that the pine tree resistant to burning would be completely useless for heating. Although people avoid it because it´s already very bad for chimneys and leaves a lot of greasy soot, in the areas where the pine is the only wood available, it would become a problem.


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Jamila
Jamila a month ago
Juran K. That's very true. Fire-resistant pines could be a massive problem for people wanting to use the wood for burning. I agree that burning wood isn't great, but for some people, that's the only way they can stay warm.

Perhaps, there could be a mixture of fire-resistant pines and regular pines planted in forests. That way, we may get some protection from wildfires, but also, pine can be used for traditional burning - then again, traditional burning isn't exactly ecofriendly. So maybe we could move away from wood-burning practices. 😊



Things go faster when your mind is slower

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Povilas S
Povilas S Jan 20, 2021
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Jurana month ago
Hehe, I like your contribution. It is very down-to-earth.

I completely agree with everything you said. I love the old forests that have this prehistorical magnificent vibe. I am very patient and I would never post anything like this if we weren´t on a Brainstorming platform. :)

But because we are, I dared to ask you this. The session text sounds very Monsanto-like, but it´s because my mind doesn´t see any other solution. Neither does yours. But someone will maybe come up with a great idea about which fast-growing plant to seed, or a really cool way how to plant trees in unreachable areas. Maybe there is a way how we can soon again have a magnificent forest on the Pelješac Peninsula, without the use of GMOs and many years of waiting.

Besides that, people still do research on longevity, no matter how serious and big philosophical issue it presents.
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Povilas S
Povilas Sa month ago
Juran K. Yes, I totally agree with that. Once again, I didn't mean to be offputting, just that there are two sides to this and I focused on that more conservative (so to speak) one in this contribution, because that is also an important thing to consider together with all the creative and proactive solutions:)

A breakdown of associated problems

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jan 20, 2021
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarnia month ago
All these problems will affect de novo forestation. If we are talking about reforestation in a deforested area, rocky land, strong winds, and a high concentration of salt in the air would not matter. These conditions were there when there were trees before they were burnt in the fire and the trees survived fine then.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
Shubhankar Kulkarni Right. The tree species are pretty resilient but very slow-growing (thus the problem). In better conditions, they would grow faster. I was aiming at listing the poor conditions so that we can then figure out solutions for them one by one. If we manage to temporarily alleviate some of the conditions, this should speed up the growth of trees. Once the forest gets going it can take care of the rest by itself. More trees hold more water, provide more cover from the wind, and so on.

Famous horses to enrich the substrate for the forest

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jan 20, 2021

[1]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warmblood

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Povilas S
Povilas Sa month ago
I'm not sure though if horse manure would be a suitable fertilizer for all plant species, it might be species-specific. If we are talking about faster growth of one or a few particular tree species this is something to find out first.
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Jurana month ago
This idea is actually quite good. It could also help the shattered tourism to come back more luxurious and stronger than ever.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
Juran K. I will post this as an idea. I seriously considered it in the past:)

Non-invasive, resilient tree species that provide temporary cover from the wind

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jan 20, 2021
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Jurana month ago
The land on the peninsula is not desert-like. Now, 5 years later, you have small maquis plants growing there. They are protecting the land (as you mentioned), but at the same time competing with pines for nutrients and water, which makes their come-back much harder.
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Povilas S
Povilas Sa month ago
Juran K. Maybe some regular rarefying of maquis vegetation would help.

Helicopter irrigation system

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jan 20, 2021
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Jurana month ago
I like the basin reservoirs idea. How would you fill them with water or protect them from drying up during summer? This land is made of karst, a stone known for many pores, which makes the thing much harder.

The helicopter or firefighting plane idea seems good and I would agree to use it. But I will tell you a story.
During these wildfires 5 years ago, I was volunteering in the hills with a 25-liter "backpack" repeatedly being refilled with water for 4 days, because my house was also at stake. We were on a "mission" to stop the slow-spreading fire of the low bushes in the vineyards. I was bravely moving forward and the helicopters throwing water were always somewhere around. One time, I heard people yelling towards me and I continued my way. Suddenly a guy came and pulled me back with an amazing force after which he dragged me backward for 15 meters. A few seconds later, more than 2 tons of water dropped at the place where I was standing before and crushed two giant pine trees like crackers.
--> Maybe the force produced when water from the helicopter or the plane hits the land would be too much for just seeded pine trees. :D


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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
Juran K. The water would be dropped on rocks - a designated throwing area, from which it would naturally flow into the artificial pool - a small lake really (made of PVC foil or suitable material). There would be some evaporation. The pool could be covered with floating tarp or balls that would somewhat prevent evaporation. The pools in the Canary Islands are open. It seems evaporation is not an issue for them.

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General comments

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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
Good video to gain some insight into forestation https://youtu.be/PkVZBSKdwQM
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
It's not really the same situation, but maybe we can extract some clues from this video https://youtu.be/W69kRsC_CgQ