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 São Paulo Research Foundation - 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. The results are published in Ecological Applications, a journal of the Ecological Society of America.
Brancalion - Restoration - Climate - Change - Mitigation As Brancalion explained, forest restoration is considered strategic for climate change mitigation, since the vegetation sequesters carbon from the atmosphere as it grows.
"Developed countries such as Norway have put in place programs to help neutralize carbon gas emissions through their economic activities," he said. "Companies issue calls for reforestation proposals to offset part of the emissions from their factories, and many international nonprofits raise funds from companies interested in investing in restoration projects using native species in Brazil."
Brancalion - Woody - Biomass - Accumulation - Payments According to Brancalion, maximizing woody biomass accumulation to obtain early payments for carbon stocks is essential to the financial viability of reforestation programs for climate change mitigation.
Intensive silviculture, traditionally applied in commercial forestry using eucalyptus and pine to maximize productivity and profits, is widely advocated as a promising approach to enhance woody biomass accumulation in restoration plantations. However, Brancalion explained, critics of this approach claim that it may hamper natural forest regeneration and ecological succession owing to competition between colonizing plants and planted trees.