Half a century after most of Costa Rica’s rain forests were cut down, researchers are attempting what many thought was impossible — restoring a tropical rain forest ecosystem. When the researchers planted worn-out cattle pastures in Costa Rica with a sampling of local trees in the early 1990s, native species of plants began to move in and flourish, raising the hope that destroyed rain forests could one day be replaced.
Ten years after the tree plantings, researchers counted the species of plants that took up residence in the shade of the new planted areas. They found remarkably high numbers of species — more than 100 in each plot. And many of the new arrivals were also to be found in nearby remnants of the original forests. (ScienceDaily, 2008-04-30)