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Functional composition of native tree species regenerating beneath eucalyptus plantations

Grant number: 22/12138-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2023
Effective date (End): October 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Forestry Resources and Forestry Engineering - Nature Conservation
Principal Investigator:Pedro Henrique Santin Brancalion
Grantee:Laura Helena Porcari Simões
Supervisor: Marielos Peña Claros
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Research place: Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands  
Associated to the scholarship:19/21920-7 - Evaluating drivers of forest recovery with a multiscale approach, BP.DD


Reforestation initiatives have been encouraged globally to help mitigating forest loss effects on the planet. Different forest restoration approaches can be adopted, depending on the landscape matrix and the ecosystem resilience. In this context, tree monoculture plantations have been proposed as a way to promote natural regeneration underneath the tree cover, which has generated quite some discussions. Studies looking in more detail to this alternative are very much needed as abandoned monoculture plantations are abundant in some areas of Atlantic Forest in Brazil. Restoration strategies often aim to restore the functioning of the system should account for community functional composition and diversity for enhancing ecosystem stability, but studies using a functional trait-based approach (as a proxy to ecosystem functioning) are still underrepresented in restoration studies in the tropics, and even less common when considering the natural regeneration under monoculture plantations. The objective of this proposal is to assess the natural regeneration growing under abandoned Eucalyptus plantations in terms of functional composition, specifically focusing on stem-, leaf- and reproductive traits. All the traits will be measured following the NewFor thematic project (FAPESP grant n. 2018/18416-2) trait protocol. By using a functional approach, we expect to understand better the contributions that forests regenerating under Eucalyptus plantations provide to ecosystem functioning. (AU)

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