Ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems is necessary for biodiversity conservation and provision of ecosystem services demanded by the population. Tree seedlings planting is the most used forest restoration method in the Atlantic Forest due to low forest cover and landscape fragmentation. In that way, identifying "framework species" that can be used in forest restoration to accelerate the process of succession because of their soil covering features and provision of resources for seed-dispersing animals represents a promising opportunity to reduce costs and increase the chances of success of this process. Thus, we aim to identify potential "framework species" among the animal-dispersed species used in 1-6 years old Seasonal Semideciduous Forest restoration projects located at "Centro de Experimentos Florestais da SOS Mata Atlântica" (Forest Experiment Center of SOS Atlantic Forest) in Itu-SP. For each restoration planting age, 15 individuals of each species will be selected, marked, and evaluated every month for a year for leaf, flowering and fruiting phenology. Furthermore, the indicators canopy size, plant canopy interception of solar radiation and grass cover under the canopy of each tree will be twice a year evaluated during the project. The data will be used to calculate the activity and intensity indexes, soil cover by plant canopy and the leaf area index of each species. The results of the different variables will be compared between species in order to identify the species with the greatest potential to be used as "framework" in Seasonal Semideciduous Forest .
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: