Project properties

Title Assessing provisioning ecosystem services of new forests in the Atlantic Forest region of Brazil
Group Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group
Project type thesis
Credits 24-36
Supervisor(s) Rens Brouwer; Prof. Dr. Marielos Peña-claros, Prof. Dr. Frans Bongers
Examiner(s) Prof.Dr. F.J.J.M (Frans) Bongers
Contact info Rens.brouwer@wur.nl
https://www.wur.nl/nl/Personen/Rens-RG-Rens-Brouwer-MSc.htm
Begin date 2020/08/01
End date
Description Also possible as Internship

Large-scale restoration in the Atlantic Forest region of Brazil needs novel upscaling from thousands to millions of hectares. The NewFor project is part of a large collaboration between Dutch and Brazilian partners that are investigating how to achieve this. We work together with Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture of the University of São Paulo in Piracicaba. We evaluate how upscaling from plot-based inventories to large-scale planning and design is possible, taking into account ecological functions, forest services and human perceptions. We determine characteristics of new forests and their drivers of regeneration and deforestation, assess their aboveground diversity and structure, evaluate key forest functions based on functional traits, predict new forests’ potential contributions to ecosystem services, develop a large-scale method with remote sensing to identify areas with the highest forest restoration potential to promote ecosystem services, and develop novel policies and market instruments to foster and stimulate new forests. In an era of ambitious restoration commitments and societal demands for ecosystem services, we provide alternative landscape developments and promote a sustainable future of the Atlantic Forest.

In this project you will assess the perception of farmers on tree species usability. Which species do they find useful and what use do the species have for them? You will quantify species usefulness through interviews with local farmers in the state of Saõ Paulo, Brazil. Then you will link species usefulness with functional traits (derived from existing databases or direct measurements), to analyze which functional traits are associated with useful species and type of use. Knowing which species are useful and which traits are associated with these species helps in developing sustainable forest restoration methods.

[Biodiversity and functional diversity/Sustainable forest management/ Forest restoration and succession / Ecosystem services / Agroforestry/ Tropical zone/ merica's
Used skills Social research (interviews), possibly trait measurements, database and literature research, data analyses and scientific writing. Speaking Portuguese
Requirements FEM-30306 Forest Ecology and Forest Management; REG-31806 Ecological Methods I
Note: speaking Portuguese is required for this project as a crucial part of the project is interviews with local farmers