Restoration of a Restinga Sandy Coastal Plain in Brazil: Survival and Growth of Planted Woody Species
Restingas – coastal sandy vegetation – have been affected by human impact for about 8,000 years. Human use of these sites for housing, tourism, and recreation has recently increased in such a way that there is a need for conservation of remnant patches and restoration of degraded areas throughout the coast to protect biodiversity. This study reports the results of an experiment introducing 17 native shrub and tree species into a degraded Brazilian restinga.
Research goals & methods
The study was conducted on a remnant restinga located in Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city in the country. The site has been subjected in the past to deforestation, man-made fire, and sand extraction. Although trees and shrubs predominantly compose natural restinga vegetation, local vegetation after impact was replaced by an exotic grass cover. Grass cover was removed and seedlings of 17 shrub and tree species were planted and monitored for two years. 20 plants per species were sampled each year.
Conclusions & takeaways
Despite the adversities imposed by the nutrient-poor sandy soil, 70% of the species showed high survival percentage and considerable growth. This study demonstrates the viability of shrub and tree plantation following exotic grass removal as a strategy to restore Brazilian coastal vegetation.
Restoration of a Restinga Sandy Coastal Plain in Brazil: Survival and Growth of Planted Woody Species. Restoration Ecology. 2006;14:87–94. doi:10.1111/j.1526-100x.2006.00108.x..
- Fundação Parques e Jardins, Prefeitura da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil
- Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, CCS, IB, Departamento de Ecologia, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil