Resource Details

Large-scale ecological restoration of high-diversity tropical forests in SE Brazil

Literature: Journal Articles Available at NO COST

Rodrigues, R.R., Gandolfi, S., Nave, A.G., Aronson, J., Barreto, T.E., Vidal, C.Y. & Brancalion, P.H.S. 2011, "Large-scale ecological restoration of high-diversity tropical forests in SE Brazil", Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 261, no. 10, pp. 1605-1613.

Contact Info

Corresponding Author:


  • Universidade de São Paulo, Escola Superior de Agricultura ‘Luiz de Queiroz’, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Laboratório de Ecologia e Restauração Florestal, Av. Pádua Dias 11, 13.418-900, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil
  • Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (C.N.R.S. -UMR 5175), Montpellier, France
  • Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO, USA
  • Programa de Pós Graduação em Biologia Vegetal, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Instituto de Biologia, Caixa Postal 6109, 13083-970 Campinas, SP, Brazil
  • Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Centro de Ciências Agrárias. Rodovia Anhanguera, km 174, SP-330, 13600-970 Araras, SP, Brazil


Forest Ecology & Management

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  • This article looks at 32 ongoing reforestation projects in Sao Paulo State, Brazil, which are conducted on areas of large sugarcane farms and small mixed farms.
  • Firstly, the authors describe the conditions needed to determine if a site can regenerate naturally: biotic and abiotic conditions are favorable for plant growth and establishment,  species will be present due to arrivals and those stored in the seedbank, species with different and complementary ecological behaviors are present. 
  • The authors describe restoration actions that meet different environmental situations found in the projects:
  • 1) if no or very low potential for natural regeneration, they recommend the use of plantations of serveral native species including "filling" (fast-growing and wide canopy) species and "diversity" (slow growing and/or narrow canopy) species. 
  • 2) if there is fair to poor potential for natural regeneration, they recommend actively encouraging natural regeneration by manual or chemical control of invasive species along with some planting of native "filling" and "diversity" species.
  • 3) If there is high potential for natural regeneration, then control of invasive species is recommended without tree plantings.
  • 4) If there are highly degraded forest fragments, they recommend actions to restore diversity, structure, and functionality to the forest by managing vines and grasses and assisting natural regeneration.
  • 5) If there are somewhat degraded forest fragments, the authors recommend the establishment of a protection zone to reduce the border effects. 
  • The authors found a higher proportion of abandoned areas around riparian areas in the large sugarcane farms in comparison with the small mixed farms. 
  • Given the very low opportunities for natural regeneration, on most of the projects, the main restoration action was the establishment of native species plantations. 
  • With this method of establishing high-diversity reforestation plots, the authors express that there will be high costs that could be defrayied by carbon offsetts, biodiversity banking, habitat banking, REDD+ payments, and payments for ecosystem services. 

Related Publications and Projects

Geographical Region

  • Coastal Atlantic South America
  • Country

  • Brazil
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