Ecological Succession on Fallowed Shifting Cultivation Fields

A Review of the Literature

  • Claudio O. Delang
  • Wing Man Li

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Ecology book series (BRIEFSECOLOGY)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Claudio O. Delang, Wing Man Li
    Pages 1-7
  3. Claudio O. Delang, Wing Man Li
    Pages 9-37
  4. Claudio O. Delang, Wing Man Li
    Pages 39-66
  5. Claudio O. Delang, Wing Man Li
    Pages 67-90
  6. Claudio O. Delang, Wing Man Li
    Pages 91-122
  7. Claudio O. Delang, Wing Man Li
    Pages 123-127

About this book


The book reviews the literature on the ecological succession of plants on fallowed swiddens in tropical forests.  Patterns of ecological succession in tropical forests are insufficiently understood, partly because results are scattered through a large number of case studies reported in academic articles. So far, no publication has attempted to bring these different case studies together to identify common patters and trends. The goal of the book is to review the different case studies, and identify common patterns of ecological succession in fallowed swiddens, as well as to pinpoint the factors that cause ecological succession in some areas to differ from those in other areas. The book is organised in four different sections: forest structure, forest diversity, species composition, and the factors that contribute to differences in forest recovery rates (the number of times the field was burned, the length of fallow period, the type of soil, and the type of forest).  This book is an important contribution to tropical forestry and shifting cultivation. Deforestation and forest degradation are the largest sources of CO2, and shifting cultivation is one of the main culprits. For this (and other economic and political) reason governments attempt to curtail shifting cultivation by shortening the years the fields can be left fallow, or outright outlawing the farming practice. Yet, there is insufficient understanding of the processes of ecological succession in fallows, which raises the questions as to whether the policy fulfils its objectives.  ​

Authors and affiliations

  • Claudio O. Delang
    • 1
  • Wing Man Li
    • 2
  1. 1., Department of GeographyHong Kong Baptist UniversityKowloon TongHong Kong SAR
  2. 2.Shatin, New TerritoriesHong Kong SAR

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Author(s) 2013
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Biomedical and Life Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-94-007-5820-9
  • Online ISBN 978-94-007-5821-6
  • Series Print ISSN 2192-4759
  • Series Online ISSN 2192-4767
  • Buy this book on publisher's site