Resource Details

Restoration of Tropical Moist Forests on Bauxite‐Mined Lands in the Brazilian Amazon

Literature: Journal Articles

Parrotta, John A., and Oliver H. Knowles. 2002. "Restoration of Tropical Moist Forests on Bauxite‐Mined Lands in the Brazilian Amazon." Restoration Ecology, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 103-116.


International Institute of Tropical Forestry , U.S. Forest Service, P.O. Box 25000, Río Piedras, PR 00928–5000, U.S.A.


Resotration Ecology

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Species Info

  • Sclerolobium paniculatum


  • This study reviewed the restoration of tropical moist forests on bauxite mine sites in Pará, Brasil. Brasilian law requires ecological restoration of mining sites, and conventional practice is for the mining company to use mixed species planting, at an average cost of $2500 / ha.  
  • All sites were prepared by replacing the top 15 cm of soil and ripping lines (tilling) up to 1meter in depth. Sites include:
    • 1. Natural regeneration area – seeds came from the seedbank
    • 2. Commercial species (Eucalyptus spp., Acacia mangium, and Sclerolobium paniculatum)
    • 3. Short lived native planting (mowed after 1 year to stimulate regrowth)
    • 4. Diverse assemblage of mixed natives plantings
  • Researchers found that basal area and canopy cover were similar among treatments, but much lower than in nearby primary forest. Species richness, however, was significantly lower than from primary forests, and many plant families were missing from restoration sites.  
  • The natural regeneration area was dominated by pioneer trees (Bellucia, Cecropia, Croton, Vismia).
  • The commercial plantation and the short-lived native planting area (dominated by Sclerolobium paniculatum) had a high litter amount but low humus layer (likely due to the lower decomposition rate), and also high grass and low natural tree regeneration.  
  • Interestingly, basal area and richness data are comparable to that found in regenerating slash and burn sites.
  • Researchers conclude that it is crucial for ecological restoration to prevent fire prone grasses from establishing, and that planting only short-lived timber and early successionals is risky because they will die quickly and may not be replaced. 

Geographical Region

  • Amazon Basin
  • Country

  • Brazil
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