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Rural engineering

Degraded areas

The work “Integration of soil, plant and animal techniques for recuperating degraded areas”, by Brigite Regensburger and Jucinei José Comin, from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, and Juares José Aumond, from the Regional University of Blumenau, deals with the recuperation of areas degraded by clay mining in Doutor Pedrinho (SC). The study used techniques for integrating soil, plants and animals. Two levels of topography were tested – regular and irregular, two levels of fertilization – organic and chemical, and two levels of ground growth and decomposing matter. The tree species selected was Mimosa scabrella (bracatinga). Artificial perches were installed in the area to increase the number of seeds from neighboring areas brought by those that disperse them. After nine months assessment, chemical analyses of the soil revealed no increase in nutrients. The bracatinga had a survival rate greater than 92%, while soil cover by the tree tops was significantly greater for treated areas that had received decomposing matter, with a value in excess of 67%. Despite soil cover by natural revegetation being no different, there was a general tendency for it to be bigger in treated areas that had regular topography. The artificial perches were responsible for bringing in 21 seeds belonging to six different morphospecies. Of the 12 botanical families of plants spontaneously identified most had zoophilic pollination syndrome, anemocoric seed dispersion and an herbaceous habit. The conclusion was that the bracatinga, organic and/or chemical fertilization, ground growth and decomposing matter and artificial perches are indicated for use in programs for recuperating degraded areas similar to those in this study. Complementary studies are necessary to evaluate the relevance or otherwise of the use of irregular topography in recovery programs for degraded areas.

Rural science – v. 38 – nº 6 – Santa Maria – Sept. 2008