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Spatially-explicit modeling of the contributions of pasture restoration through integrated systems to carbon sequestration and ecosystem services provision in Brazil

Grant number: 22/09821-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2022
Effective date (End): November 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Acordo de Cooperação: BG E&P Brasil (Shell Group)
Principal Investigator:Carlos Eduardo Pellegrino Cerri
Grantee:Fabio Arnaldo Pomar Avalos
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Host Company:Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Escola Politécnica (EP)
Associated research grant:20/15230-5 - Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Innovation - RCG2I, AP.PCPE
Associated scholarship(s):23/14475-2 - MODELING SCENARIOS OF PASTURE RESTORATION IN BRAZIL: IMPLICATIONS FOR CARBON SEQUESTRATION AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES PROVISION, BE.EP.PD

Abstract

The restoration of degraded pastures in Brazil - which are estimated to occupy more than 60% of the country pasturelands - is being considered as a milestone of environmental compliance in Brazil and as one of the key commitments of the country to abate greenhouse gas emissions in the scope of the Paris Agreement. It has been argued, however, that it may not be the best alternative for reducing GHG emissions since other forms of cattle ranching management (such as feed finishing) may lead to both better financial revenue and smaller net carbon emissions. In fact, it is stated that as long as the national herd increase GHG emissions will continue rising. Nevertheless, the potential of the country's soil to sequester and store carbon has not yet been fully explored, considering that distinct management practices, of animals, grasses and of the soil itself, can lead to substantially different carbon inputs and stocks in the soil. Moreover, there has been no assessment of the implications of such large-scale pasture restoration on the provision of key ecosystem services. As such, this PD projects aims at generating spatially explicit projections of the land-use changes associated with Brazil's target of restoring 15 million hectares of pastures, and associated carbon budget and provision of ecosystem services according to different land management scenarios. It will make use of a modeling framework comprised of a high-resolution land-use change model and a crop productivity and soil carbon model, both well-established as extensively applied to a variety of case studies around the world. Management scenarios will be determined through expert elicitation and literature review and then applied in the modeling framework. Alterations in the provision of key ecosystem services will be quantified through the relation between land use types and the flow of ecosystem services, either of local and well-defined beneficiaries (e.g. water provision) or of global significance with diffuse beneficiaries (e.g. carbon storage). The final products of this PD project will be maps showing the preferable location and management practices to proceed with the intended countrywide pasture restoration, as well as accurate estimates on the net carbon budget for each options and consequent implications for ecosystem services. These results will ultimately support the elaboration and implementation of policies and subsidies for the best possible implementation of Brazil's commitment under the Paris Agreement throughout the country. (AU)

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