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Rebirth of a forest

Fotolab_Imagem_088Does this look like ordinary underbrush to you? Not to an expert in forest regeneration.  In this photo, biologist Sergius Gandolfi sees pollinators, seed dispersers and a variety of microenvironments. Thirty years after starting the restoration project on this Iracemápolis forest area, in inland São Paulo State, silk floss tree seeds, encased in their characteristic white fibers, and very young plants surrounded by adult tree trunks, are signs of success. “Restoration occurs when the ecological processes that create and maintain the typical populations of that vegetation are recovered,” the researcher explains, and the seeds are signs of this.  “Species like the royal mahogany will bloom 20 years after planting and only then will release seeds into the soil.”

Image submitted by Sergius Gandolfi, professor at the Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture (Esalq-USP)