In Brazil and in the world there are large areas of abandoned pastures that could be converted in biodiverse forests. However, there are still great difficulties in forest restoration of these pastures, with a great demand for practical, efficient, cheap and applicable methods on a large scale. The aim of this study is to analyze the ecological viability of forming biodiverse and sustainable young forest communities starting from areas of abandoned pastures near forest fragments. Five restoration actions (natural regeneration facilitation, direct seeding, density planting, enrichment planting and fertilization) are combined to form a hierarchical experiment that will be developed in abandoned pastures in Sertãozinho, SP, Brazil. Four blocks will be established (0,995 ha/each), with 12 plots each (one control plot and eleven combining the five restoration actions to be tested. The planted and seeded regenerating individuals (shrubby and arboreal) higher than 0.5 m will be identified and measured (height, crown diameter, stem circumference at soil height and survival) for three years. The phytosociological structure of the communities resulting from these treatments will be described and compared in order to understand to which degree the combination of different restoration actions may favor the formation of biodiverse forest communities that tend to be permanent. These alternatives, with different costs and producing different ecological results, may turn out to be useful for different environmental and economic realities and serve as support for public policies to encourage restoration projects for small and large cattle raising farms.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: