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Peatlands origin and its spatial distribution in the lower Ribeira do Iguape River (SP) and their potential as C sink and greenhouse gases emision

Grant number: 23/04708-0
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: September 01, 2023 - August 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Soil Science
Principal Investigator:Pablo Vidal Torrado
Grantee:Pablo Vidal Torrado
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Alexandre Christofaro Silva ; Fabrício da Silva Terra ; Ingrid Horák Terra ; Judith Schellekens ; Marcia Regina Calegari ; Paulo Guilherme Molin ; Plínio Barbosa de Camargo


Peatlands are wetlands ecosystems formed by organic soils and corresponding to only 3% of the earth's surface, but store one third of the C stored in all soils. Globally, Histosols are important carbon sinks formed along the holocene and late pleistocene. In the low Ribeira do Iguape River, Histosols occupy about 70,000 ha, one of the largest areas of occurrence of these soils on the South American continent. Distributed in different phytophysiognomies in the Atlantic Forest Biome, these soils occur sometimes in the estuarine-fluvial environment sometimes in the river-continental one. Detailed studies of these peatlands are virtually nonexistent, despite all the importance of ecosystem services that the peats offer and their environmental fragility. In a recent pilot study conducted at Campina do Encantado State Park (Pece), in the municipality of Pariquera-Açu (SP) (FAPESP 2019/26235-0), this research team developed and applied sampling protocols, characterization and mapping of Histosols for different types of studies: paleoenvironmental reconstitution, measurement of greenhouse gases (GHG), molecular chemistry of organic matter and microrganisms involved in the production of GHG. With the experience acquired it is proposed in this project to mapping the low Rio do Ribeira do Iguape, establish their real spatial distribution and investigate their evolution models. Remote orbital and air sensing products will be used in an integrated manner for identification, mapping and quantification of the peatlands. Representative transects representing the different swamp forest phytophysionomies will be chosen for high resolution sampling. In these transects will be done the studies of emission and formation of GHG and those of paleoenvironmental reconstitution. Histosols are excellent environmental and climatic records. The histories of the lower Ribeira de Iguape peatlands as well as the local-regional and even global climate will be reconstituted by the crossing of the molecular information of the MO with the Palinological data and the C and N isotopic data. It is expected to increase the understanding of the formation and degradation of tropical peats in environments near the level of the sea, as well their potential as C sink and their role in the current scenario of climate change. (AU)

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