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Understanding ecological, legal and social aspects of the forest-water relation with importance for ecosystem services

Grant number: 16/00052-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2016
Effective date (End): June 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal Investigator:Pedro Henrique Santin Brancalion
Grantee:Paula Meli
Home Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/50718-5 - Ecological restoration of riparian forests, native forest of economic production and of degraded forest fragments (in APP and RL) based on restoration ecology of reference ecosystems in order to scientifically test the precepts of the New Brazilian Forest Code, AP.BTA.TEM


Sustaining ecosystem services important to humans while providing a dependable water supply for agriculture and urban needs is a major challenge faced by managers of human-dominated watersheds. Forests are considered to provide a wide variety of goods and ecosystem services (ES) to humanity, including production of timber and non-timber forest products, cultural and spiritual values to local and indigenous people, and they are also considered the best source of potable water for human use. This works intends to improve our understanding on ecological aspects that drive the forest-water relation and, their tradeoffs with social perceptions and legal frameworks that base forest conservation and restoration strategies in tropical countries, to improve decision making about water-ES supply. We will carry out: (1) a global meta-analysis to assessing effects of natural and restored forests on evapotranspiration, runoff and infiltration processes in tropical regions, (2) a global assessment of social and legal perceptions and regulations about these effects in tropical forest regions, (3) analysis of tradeoffs among ecological, socio-economic and legal aspects of the forest-water relation in two study cases. Considering the increasing pressure on water resources and hydrologic regulation that humans are placing on lands and the environment, results from this work will be very useful to build better predictive frameworks for understanding the consequences of vegetation change and also to guide future forest conservation and restoration projects, as well as payments for ecosystem services schemes.

Scientific publications (13)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
MELI, PAULA; BETTINARDI, MARIANA; BRANCALION, PEDRO H. S. Predicting flooding tolerance of native tree species to restore flooded forests. APPLIED VEGETATION SCIENCE, OCT 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
FERRAZ, SILVIO; BRANCALION, PEDRO H. S.; GUILLEMOT, JOANNES; MELI, PAULA. On the Need to Differentiate the Temporal Trajectories of Ecosystem Structure and Functions in Restoration Programs. TROPICAL CONSERVATION SCIENCE, v. 13, JUN 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
BORDA-NINO, MONICA; MELI, PAULA; BRANCALION, PEDRO H. S. Drivers of tropical forest cover increase: A systematic review. LAND DEGRADATION & DEVELOPMENT, v. 31, n. 11 JAN 2020. Web of Science Citations: 2.
BRANCALION, PEDRO H. S.; MELI, PAULA; TYMUS, JULIO R. C.; LENTI, FELIPE E. B.; BENINI, RUBENS M.; SILVA, ANA PAULA M.; ISERNHAGEN, INGO; HOLL, KAREN D. What makes ecosystem restoration expensive? A systematic cost assessment of projects in Brazil. Biological Conservation, v. 240, DEC 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.
BLOOMFIELD, GILLIAN; MELI, PAULA; BRANCALION, PEDRO H. S.; TERRIS, ELI; GUARIGUATA, MANUEL R.; GAREN, EVA. Strategic Insights for Capacity Development on Forest Landscape Restoration: Implications for Addressing Global Commitments. TROPICAL CONSERVATION SCIENCE, v. 12, NOV 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.
MELI, PAULA; MARIA REY-BENAYAS, JOSE; BRANCALION, PEDRO H. S. Balancing land sharing and sparing approaches to promote forest and landscape restoration in agricultural landscapes: Land approaches for forest landscape restoration. PERSPECTIVES IN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION, v. 17, n. 4, p. 201-205, OCT-DEC 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.
MELI, PAULA; CALLE, ALICIA; CALLE, ZORAIDA; ORTIZ-ARRONA, CLAUDIA I.; SIROMBRA, MARTIN; BRANCALION, PEDRO H. S. Riparian-forest buffers: Bridging the gap between top-down and bottom-up restoration approaches in Latin America. LAND USE POLICY, v. 87, SEP 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.
LOZANO-BAEZ, SERGIO E.; COOPER, MIGUEL; MELI, PAULA; FERRAZ, SILVIO F. B.; RODRIGUES, RICARDO RIBEIRO; SAUER, THOMAS J. Land restoration by tree planting in the tropics and subtropics improves soil it infiltration, but some critical gaps still hinder conclusive results. FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT, v. 444, p. 89-95, JUL 15 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.
ALTAMIRANO, ADISON; MIRANDA, ALEJANDRO; MELI, PAULA; DEHENNIN, JORIS; MUYS, BART; PRADO, MARCO; CATALAN, GERMAN; SMITH-RAMIREZ, CECILIA; BUSTAMANTE-SANCHEZ, MARCELA; LISON, FULGENCIO; MARIA REY-BENAYAS, JOSE. Spatial congruence among indicators of recovery completeness in a Mediterranean forest landscape: Implications for planning large-scale restoration. ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS, v. 102, p. 752-759, JUL 2019. Web of Science Citations: 1.
MELI, PAULA; SCHWEIZER, DANIELLA; BRANCALION, PEDRO H. S.; MURCIA, CAROLINA; GUARIGUATA, MANUEL R. Multidimensional training among Latin America's restoration professionals. RESTORATION ECOLOGY, v. 27, n. 3, p. 477-484, MAY 2019. Web of Science Citations: 4.
ALMEIDA, D. R. A.; STARK, S. C.; CHAZDON, R.; NELSON, B. W.; CESAR, R. G.; MELI, P.; GORGENS, E. B.; DUARTE, M. M.; VALBUENA, R.; MORENO, V. S.; MENDES, A. F.; AMAZONAS, N.; GONCALVES, N. B.; SILVA, C. A.; SCHIETTI, J.; BRANCALION, P. H. S. The effectiveness of lidar remote sensing for monitoring forest cover attributes and landscape restoration. FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT, v. 438, p. 34-43, APR 15 2019. Web of Science Citations: 7.
MELI, PAULA; ISERNHAGEN, INGO; BRANCALION, PEDRO H. S.; ISERNHAGEN, ELAINE C. C.; BEHLING, MAUREL; RODRIGUES, RICARDO R. Optimizing seeding density of fast-growing native trees for restoring the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. RESTORATION ECOLOGY, v. 26, n. 2, p. 212-219, MAR 2018. Web of Science Citations: 4.
MELI, PAULA; HERRERA, FRANCISCO F.; MELO, FELIPE; PINTO, SEVERINO; AGUIRRE, NICOLAY; MUSALEM, KARIM; MINAVERRY, CLARA; RAMIREZ, WILSON; BRANCALION, PEDRO H. S. Four approaches to guide ecological restoration in Latin America. RESTORATION ECOLOGY, v. 25, n. 2, p. 156-163, MAR 2017. Web of Science Citations: 14.

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