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Soil health indicators integrated into forest residue management in eucalyptus plantations

Grant number: 23/12181-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2024
Effective date (End): February 28, 2025
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Forestry Resources and Forestry Engineering - Forestry
Principal Investigator:José Lavres Junior
Grantee:Antonio Leite Florentino
Supervisor: Timothy Filley
Host Institution: Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Oklahoma (OU), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:22/01698-0 - Dynamics and cycling of boron, copper, and zinc in forest ecosystem integrated with residue management and the carbon transformations: consequences for the sustainability of forest productivity, BP.PD


There is a rising interest within the timber industry in using forest residues, such as stumps, leaves, branches, bark, and litter, for bioenergy production. However, more intensive management has the potential to trigger erosive processes, reduce biodiversity, and compromise the environment's resilience, leading to negative impacts on soil quality (soil health), and thereby affecting the sustainability of forest productivity. In this context, little is known about how the chemical composition of forest residues affects soil health and its integrated effects on the sustainability of productivity on eucalyptus plantations. This study aims to assess the impacts of forest residue management on soil health by investigating physical, chemical, and biological indicators, as well as wood productivity in field-grown eucalyptus. The database will be obtained from the postdoctoral research (FAPESP process: 2022/01698-0), which the data collected, comprising field measurements and laboratory results. The data will be analyzed in the Institute for Resilient Environmental and Energy Systems (University of Oklahoma) and its affiliated Stable Isotope Measurement Facility (SIMF) to understand how the impact of eucalyptus forest residue management on soil health, as well as characterize a reference area of cerrado regeneration (control area) through a biochemical, isotopic, and molecular (metagenomic) approach for soil parameters. Furthermore, quantitative methods will be employed to assess wood productivity. The findings will explore the influence of tree residue management on soil health and the sustainability of forest productivity. Additionally, this work will establish the groundwork for creating an innovative soil health protocol for forest plantations, utilizing physical, chemical, and biological soil indicators. Such a protocol has the potential for broader application in other tropical regions. (AU)

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