Pilon, Natashi A. L.
Assis, Geissianny B.
Souza, Flaviana M.
Total Authors: 4
 Univ Estadual Campinas, Inst Biol, UNICAMP, POB 6109, BR-13083865 Campinas, SP - Brazil
 Escola Nacl Bot Trop, Jardim Bot Rio de Janeiro, BR-22470180 Rio De Janeiro, RJ - Brazil
 Inst Florestal Estado Sao Paulo, Secao Ecol Florestal, R Horto 931, BR-02377000 Sao Paulo, SP - Brazil
 Inst Florestal Estado Sao Paulo, Floresta Estadual Assis, Caixa Postal 104, BR-19802300 Assis, SP - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 4
Web of Science Citations:
Neotropical grasslands have undergone intensive degradation by land conversion or biological invasion, but their restoration is still challenging. Here, we integrated two approaches to (1) assess the resilience of pristine dry and wet cerrado grasslands after removal of plants and topsoil and (2) evaluate the effectiveness of different treatments based on the material extracted from pristine grasslands to restore degraded dry and wet grasslands after pine invasion. We used old-growth cerrado grasslands in southeastern Brazil as donor ecosystems and assessed their resilience after the removal of all plants and the upper 5-cm soil layer. To restore both wet and dry grasslands, we tested topsoil translocation, plant transplantation, direct seeding, topsoil translocation + direct seeding, and needle layer removal. Both wet and dry grasslands were resilient to plants and topsoil removal, as evidenced by their fast recovery. The major mechanisms promoting resilience were seed germination in the wet grasslands and resprouting from underground organs in the dry grasslands. Transplantation was the most successful treatment to restore vegetation cover, species richness, and composition in both wet and dry grasslands, especially for herbaceous species. Restoration of the herbaceous layer of cerrado grasslands can be successful using natural ecosystems as donor sites without impairing their resilience in the studied scale. Improving the resilience of degraded dry and wet cerrado grasslands depends on reestablishing the condition to seed germination in the wet grasslands and reintroducing species with the ability to resprout after disturbance in the dry grasslands, attributes that explained the quick recovery of the donor ecosystems. (AU)