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Ecohydrological functions of restored forest at Atlantic Forest biome (HIDROFLORES)

Abstract

Forests are essential components for regulating the hydrological cycle and recent efforts have been made to restore ecosystems altered by human activities, such as the Atlantic Forest, in an attempt to recover their ecohydrological processes and functions. In the riparian zone, the forest role is especially important for the structure and functioning of headwater streams. In this project, we intend to apply a transversal and multi-scale approach to understand the relationship between the structure, process and functions of restored forests in regulating hydrological flows and stream ecology. The study will be carried out at the Itatinga Experimental Station where long-term experiments are previously installed from research investments in the last 10 years. Other reaches with restored riparian forests will also be assessed in Corumbataí river basin and Upper Paraíba Valley regions, this last area covered by the "Conexão Mata Atlântica" project. Data collection will be carried out in experimental plots installed in riparian areas and along topographic gradients, hydrological monitoring of experimental catchments and extensive instrumentation for monitoring flows in vegetation, soils and streams. Statistical analyzes will seek to differentiate processes and functions in variable conditions of forest vegetation structure. The project also intends to contribute developing methodologies to assess the ecohydrological functioning of forests, testing vegetation indicators, rapid field assessment protocols and derivatives of images obtained by UAVs. (AU)

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