Atlantic Forest Restoration in the Buffer Zone of Iguazu National Park (Misiones, Argentina)
The information on natural regeneration and the development of cheaper and more environmentally efficient restoration technique could be used for:
Forest restoration: In the Andresito area, it is necessary to create biological corridors to favour the interconnection among large forest patches. The information provided by this study will answer such questions as: a- How do different factors influence on forest regeneration?, b- Which are the most appropriate groups of species to be used in restoration?, c- Which is the growth speed of each species and its response to different factors?, d- Is it necessary to eliminate grass and carry out soil compaction to plant native trees in the area to be restored? Or, in similar situations, is the influence of grasses not so important as to invest in their removal?, e- According to the history of use of the area to be restored, which is the most adequate restoration strategy to be used?, etc.
Management of secondary forests: When forests are generated with productive purposes (in this case, plantations of native trees), is it truly important to know the time the system takes to reach a determined structure and wood production (standing biomass) and the growth rhythm for the different species. The information on such aspects provided by this project could be used: a) to design afforestation plans with native species, to commercialize wood (exotic species are currently planted in the province of Misiones) and for firewood, a resource that is getting scarcer in the study area, b) to manage and preserve secondary forests.
The purpose of this project is to:
a- evaluate the ecological and economic efficiency of different forest restoration techniques.
b- develop a recovery model of forest productivity based on the sustainable use of palmito (Euterpe edulis) and the yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis). These native species represent an important economic resource for local people.
c- through the implementation of objectives 1 and 2, to restore surface areas of forests in a key sector for conservation, contributing to re-establish the connectivity among patches.
d- adjust a monitoring method that may be applied in great restored areas in the region, which will be needed when implementing landscape scale restoration.
The specific objectives are:
1) To analyze the capacity of different native tree species to be used in restoration works,
2) To train local people to work in different activities involved in forest restoration and rehabilitation.
Once different restoration methodologies have been tested and adjusted, these will be available to be applied in larger areas.