Resource Details

On the restoration of high diversity forests: 30 years of experience in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

Literature: Journal Articles Available at NO COST

Rodrigues, R.R., Lima, R.A.F., Gandolfi, S. & Nave, A.G. 2009, "On the restoration of high diversity forests: 30 years of experience in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest", Biological Conservation, vol. 142, no. 6, pp. 1242-1251.

Contact Info

Corresponding Author:


  • Laboratório de Ecologia e Restauração Florestal (LERF), Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, ESALQ - Universidade de São Paulo. Av. Pádua Dias, 11, CEP 13418-900, P.O. Box 9, Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil


Biological Conservation

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  • This review evaluates the restoration of Brazil's Atlantic forest by drawing from many sources (published and not published).
  • Ecological restoration is a technique used when an ecosystem cannot naturally recover from disturbances or when that process may take over centuries to occur.
  • Reforestation in Atlantic Brazil took place in a few different phases ranging from government-sponsored plantations in up until 1982, a focus on native species plantations from 1982-1985, higher diversity of species used from 1985 to 2000, a focus on restoring process rather than copying the structure of natural forests was expanded from 2000-2003, and finally a conscious effort to improve intraspecific genetic diversity and seed acquisition from 2003 to today.
  • The authors describe the model for tree planting approached by the Laboratório de Ecologia e Restauração Florestal (LERF).
  • In this project, a plantation was designed with ecological or succesional processes in mind.
  • Fast growing trees of 15-30 species were planted in some rows to improve environmental conditions, control erosion, and suppress exotic weed growth.
  • Additionally "diversity" rows of trees were planted of 70-80 species that represent late secondary or climax species to promote the longer term functional diversity of the system.
  • Continued monitoring is necessary but early findings suggest faster growth and more success than other plantation projects.
  • The authors assert that public policies should be used more intensively to stimulate large scale reforestation efforts in the Brazilian Atlantic forest.
  • However, there have been some positive public policy efforts in recent years.
  • In 2003, federal laws encouraged increased and more diverse seedling production, and in 2005 a federal restoration fund was created to encourage projects and research on the Atlantic Forest.
  • Finally, the authors suggest that restoration efforts in the Brazilian Amazon have demonstrated the need to approach restoration in different ways based on the site conditions.
  • They recommend that forest managers "diagnose" the status of degradation and fragmentation and "prescribe" a restoration treatment that best fits with that diagnosis.

Related Publications and Projects

Geographical Region

  • Coastal Atlantic South America
  • Country

  • Brazil
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