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Ecological corridors as a tool for planning urban forests

Grant number: 16/21071-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2017
Effective date (End): December 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Milton Cezar Ribeiro
Grantee:Gabriela Rosa
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil

Abstract

In the last years, the urbanization process has grown in an accelerated rate, which make us think in alternatives to transform cities into places that can help the conservation of biodiversity. One of the strategies is the investment in urban forests, which means all trees located in the urban area, regardless of density, location and property. When properly planned, urban forests can bring benefits such as increasing urban connectivity and providing ecosystem and cultural services. However, the current Brazilian urbanization planning model does not considercity's natural aspects. The channeling of rivers, the backfilling of floodplain areas and the use of exotic tree species in urban landscaping, leads to negative consequences, such as water and air pollution, disorderly growth and the decrease of life quality in cities. In this way, this project aims to propose a model of urban forestry plan for Brazilian cities, considering the creation of ecological corridors that connect existing green areas and natural habitat patches. The city of Rio Claro will be used as a study object for the planning of a urban forest that aim the preservation of biodiversity and the improving of life quality. The project will be divided into the following steps: a) analysis of the geographical territory of the city of Rio Claro; b) selection of the streets where the project will be applied using LSCORR (Landscape Corridor) software; c) characterization of existing vegetation and creation of the project, taking into account the species to be planted in the streets. The final part of the study will be the estimation of the costs to implement the project: the amount that will be spend on plants, soil, labor and infrastructure, as well as on the maintenance of these areas. (AU)