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Effects of Atlantic Forest Restoration on the Ecohydrological Functions and Stream Health of Agricultural Catchments

Abstract

After centuries of deforestation and degradation of Atlantic Forest in Brazil, natural and social systems have become increasingly threatened by the loss of natural forests and the critical ecosystem services they provide, especially in light of climate change. Forest restoration has a great potential to solve the water-related challenges, but evidence-based information on the recovery of water services following forest restoration has been remarkably limited. To fill the knowledge gaps and advance our understanding about the effectiveness of forest restoration on the recovery of hydrological processes that support water ecosystem services, the Forest Hydrology Laboratory at ESALQ has been conducting a series of studies in recent years involving forest restoration in agricultural landscapes in the state of Sao Paulo. More specifically, these projects have been designed to assess changes in internal catchment hydrologic processes and pathways following the restoration of Atlantic Forest in pastureland and eucalyptus plantations. The projects also include the continuous monitoring of streams draining the study catchments as streams are integrators of hydrological processes that occur in the catchments. The Visiting Researcher for whom I am requesting this fellowship is an expert in watershed restoration and will be responsible for synthesizing and integrating the data collected by these projects in addition to data to be generated by a newly proposed thematic project to identify the key ecological factors and interactions affecting restoration outcomes for water resources. (AU)

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