Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Restoring mexican tropical dry forests: A national review


Natalia Mesa-Sierra
Marinés de la Peña-Domene
Julio Campo



Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Pacific Southwest Research Station


Sustainability. 14(7): 3937.


Deforestation is the dominant threat to tropical dry forests (TDFs) in Mexico. Its causes include agriculture, tourism, and mining. In some cases, unassisted forest regeneration is sufficient to return diverse forest cover to a site, but in other cases, changes in land use are so severe that active restoration is required to reintroduce tree cover. The ecological and social constraints on TDF restoration in Mexico are poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, we synthesized relevant restoration literature for Mexico published between January 1990 and February 2020. We examined 43 unique articles about TDF restoration practices in Mexico to identify (1) the national distribution of TDF restoration projects, (2) restoration objectives, and (3) factors contributing to TDF restoration success or failure. The largest number of restoration sites were in the Yucatan Peninsula, and the most common objective was to restore dry forest vegetation on lands that had been used for agriculture or impacted by fires. Planting seedlings was the most widely reported restoration strategy, and plant survival was the most frequently monitored response variable. Maximum annual temperature and the Lang Aridity Index were the best predictors of plant survival, which ranged from 15% to 78%. This synthesis highlights how national restoration inventories can facilitate the development of a restoration evaluation framework to increase the efficacy of restoration investments.


Mesa-Sierra, Natalia; de la Peña-Domene, Marinés; Campo, Julio; Giardina, Christian P. 2022. Restoring mexican tropical dry forests: A national review. Sustainability. 14(7): 3937.


Publication Notes

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.