Between 1990 and 2010, tropical and subtropical forests in Southeast Asia were reduced by 32 million metric tons due to severe deforestation.
Afforestation is one of the main methods to restore local forests.
However, a study published in the Philosophical Journal of the Royal Society B found that half of the replanted saplings did not survive more than five years.
Scientists investigated the survival and growth of trees at 176 tropical and subtropical reforestation sites in Asia.
They found that an average of 18 percent of saplings died in the first year and 44 percent died within five years.
However, survival rates varied widely by region, depending on planting density, species, weather, and management and maintenance.
Five-year survival rates are as high as 80% in some areas, while seedlings planted in areas with established trees have a 20% higher survival rate than those planted in areas that are completely deforested.
Proper planting and maintenance practices based on local conditions may help improve the survival rate of reforestation.