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Optimizing high-diversity restoration: perceptions and approaches to add tree diversity in tropical forest restoration plantings

Grant number: 22/13398-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2023
Effective date (End): June 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Forestry Resources and Forestry Engineering - Nature Conservation
Principal Investigator:Ricardo Augusto Gorne Viani
Grantee:Ricardo Augusto Gorne Viani
Host Investigator: John Leighton Reid
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Agrárias (CCA). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). Araras , SP, Brazil
Research place: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, United States  
Associated research grant:18/18416-2 - Understanding restored forests for benefiting people and nature - NewFor, AP.BTA.TEM

Abstract

The restoration of tropical forests is a global demand that aims to convert degraded sites into functional and biodiverse forests. However, restoration plantations often use few tree species, mostly fast-growing, underusing or neglecting the other species. There are favorable arguments for prioritizing rapid growth and also for adding diversity to forest restoration, but there is supposedly a trade-off between them, since the more diverse a plantation, the more slow-growing trees are planted and the lower the initial growth of the tree community. The objective of this proposal is to evaluate strategies to increase diversity of tree species in restoration plantations, especially of late-sucessional and slow-growing species. First, we will evaluate the structure of the tree community 2 years after planting, in an experiment in which all treatments have the same tree species richness (24 species) but vary the abundances of fast and slow growing species. In a second experiment, we will evaluate the survival and early growth of eight late-successional tree species (shade tolerant species), planted in full sun, concomitantly with pioneers' trees, and under the canopy of a 3-years-old restoration planting. Finally, we will investigate the perception of the forest restoration chain on the diversity, composition, and selection of trees for restoration plantings, using the Atlantic Forest in Brazil in a case study. A questionnaire will be applied to those working with restoration in this biome, identifying the opinion of the different links in this chain on this specific topic. Overall, the results will contribute to improving tropical forest restoration actions, identifying the best approaches to insert late-sucessional species in tree plantations and helping to understand how the sectors that work with the practice of forest restoration perceive this topic. (AU)

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