Intensive silviculture accelerates Atlantic Rainforest biodiversity regeneration

By São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

The study shows the advantages of herbicide spraying and intensive fertilization in reforestation programs to mitigate the effects of climate change (photo credit: Pedro Brancalion)

An experiment conducted in Brazil in an area of Atlantic Rainforest suggests that intensive silviculture, including the use of herbicide and substantial amounts of fertilizer, is a more effective approach to promoting the regeneration of tropical forest and biomass gain than the traditional method based on manual weeding and less fertilizer.

The study was supported by FAPESP. The principal investigator was Pedro Henrique Santin Brancalion, a professor of native species silviculture in the Forest Science Department of the University of São Paulo’s Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture (ESALQ-USP) in Piracicaba, São Paulo state, Brazil.

Researchers affiliated with the French Agricultural Research Center for International Development (CIRAD) also participated, as did other Brazilian scientists affiliated with São Paulo State University (UNESP) in Botucatu and the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC). The results are published in Ecological Applications, a journal of the Ecological Society of America.

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