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The role of forests in maintaining ecosystem services and climate regulation in the Brasilian Amazon

Grant number: 22/16581-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2023
Effective date (End): March 31, 2026
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Geosciences
Principal Investigator:Luiz Eduardo Oliveira e Cruz de Aragão
Grantee:Isadora Haddad Ruiz
Host Institution: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE). Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação (Brasil). São José dos Campos , 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

Abstract

The Brazilian Amazon has already lost about 20 percent of its forest cover due to the advance of deforestation. As a consequence, local climate changes are observed, such as an increase of up to 0.8ºC in temperature and a reduction of 20% in precipitation during the dry season. This PhD project aims to develop a protocol of measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) for areas in process of forest restoration in the State of Pará (PA), investigating whether the recompositing of secondary vegetation (SV) and protection of primary forests (FP) can reverse the actual scenario of climate change in the Amazon. For this purpose, we aimed to use high spatial and temporal resolution optical data (e.g., CBERS and PlanetScope), Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and forest inventory observations to develop a MRV methodological framework to monitor forest recovery areas, and estimate stocks and sequestration of 565B2 in PA. To analyze the capacity to provide ecosystem services associated with Essential Climate Variables (ECVs), structural metrics of the landscape, composed of FP and VS, will be calculated. Subsequently, the ECVs (e.g., temperature and precipitation) will be related to the metrics using a Random Forest regression model. Finally, the relationship between biomass accumulation and ECVs will be evaluated from LiDAR, ESA-CCI and climate data. As a result of this thesis, it is expected to obtain methodologies, products and evidences that can subsidize the definition of strategies for the protection and recovery of forest cover and optimize the response to climate change in the Amazon region.

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