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Tropical forest restoration in rural landscapes: the influence of soil and adjacent forest coverage

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Renato Miazaki de Toledo
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Biociências
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Rozely Ferreira dos Santos; Jean Paul Walter Metzger; Vania Regina Pivello; Ricardo Ribeiro Rodrigues; José Marcelo Domingues Torezan
Advisor: Rozely Ferreira dos Santos

Ecological restoration is addressing concerns surrounding threats to ecosystem services and biodiversity. Support for this endeavor comes from substantial conceptual and practical advances, and policy initiatives and monetary incentives. Still, it remains unclear what are the main factors influencing tropical forest restoration. This lack of knowledge can compromise the willingness to restore and waste limited resources. To improve the knowledge base and aid identification of appropriate restoration targets, we studied the effect of soil and landscape context on tropical forest restoration, focusing in three main questions. We first asked: How the potential land supply for restoration is spatially distributed in the range of disturbance contexts of a highly degraded tropical region? Secondly, we asked: How important are soil properties and forest adjacency for biomass uptake and community assembly during early tropical forest restoration? And at last: What is the effect of the age of adjacent forests patches on the forest regeneration established in restoration sites? Using georeferenced databases and rural lands statistics, we observed that forest restoration is likely to be located within highly degraded landscapes. Combining remote sensing, with soil and vegetation survey undertaken in forest restoration sites that were implemented by the same program, we found that biomass recovery is affected by soil texture, surrounding forest coverage and the interaction between soil texture and soil chemical composition. We also found that the age of surrounding forest coverage affected the regenerating plant community, influencing species groups relative density, as related to seed dispersal syndrome, seed size and habitat specialization. Our results corroborate the need for fine scale evaluations to predict restoration outcomes, and anticipate methodological refinement. Given projections for decreasing presence of old-growth forests and increasing soil degradation in tropical rural landscapes, restoration policies likely need to consider alternative restoration targets for adverse conditions, coupled with improving soil conditions and protecting forest remnants to allow moist tropical forest recovery in appropriate areas (AU)

FAPESP's process: 13/24851-0 - In which extent loss of landscape connectivity and soil degradation restricts the efficiency of the forest restoration?
Grantee:Renato Miazaki de Toledo
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate