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Decision-makers' perspectives of mixed tree plantations in a changing climate

Grant number: 21/14062-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2022
Effective date (End): September 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Forestry Resources and Forestry Engineering - Forestry
Principal Investigator:Pedro Henrique Santin Brancalion
Grantee:Leticia Bulascoschi Cagnoni
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil


Forestry and forest restoration are promising activities to mitigate climate change, as forests have a high capacity of sequestering carbon in a short period of time. Mixed tree plantations for sustainable wood production can be a viable, scalable and economically accessible strategy to reconcile economic and environmental benefits, and to reduce the vulnerability of plantations to climate change. However, in spite of the scientific evidence on the advantages of mixed tree plantations, conventional monocultures are still prevalent globally. Expanding mixed plantations depends on changing the way multiple decision makers such as landowners, forestry companies, and governments- make decisions, which requires more than ecological evidence of plantations' performance. Here, we aim to understand what are the main constraints and opportunities for expanding mixed plantations in southeast Brazil, France and Sweden, in order to support the design of plantation schemes, policies, and incentives to adapt forestry to a changing climate and increasing environmental demands. We will identify the factors governing decisions towards mixed or monoculture plantations across multiple decision makers' groups and regions, based on a qualitative research method, developed in two two phases: I) through the Delphi method, we will identify the main barriers to the applicability of mixed plantations, and II) through focal directed semi-structured interviews with policymakers and forest managers from key forestry organizations who have already implemented mixed plantations, we will identify possible solutions, based on their experiences. This research project will contribute to identifying obstacles to the implementation of mixed tree plantations, considering the management and production objectives, the local biophysical features, and countries' contextual factors. We expect to shed light onto the potential alternatives to promote mixed tree plantations in forestry and reforestation, thus enhancing forest resilience to climate change, besides their capacity to supply multiple benefits to nature and people. (AU)

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