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Open AccessArticle

Recovery of Soil Hydraulic Properties for Assisted Passive and Active Restoration: Assessing Historical Land Use and Forest Structure

1
Laboratory of Ecology and Forest Restoration (LERF), Department of Biological Sciences, “Luiz de Queiroz” College of Agriculture, University of São Paulo, Av. Pádua Dias 11, Piracicaba SP 13418-900, Brazil
2
Department of Soil Science, “Luiz de Queiroz” College of Agriculture, University of São Paulo, Av. Pádua Dias 11, Piracicaba SP 13418-900, Brazil
3
Forest Hydrology Laboratory, “Luiz de Queiroz” College of Agriculture, University of São Paulo, Av. Pádua Dias 11, Piracicaba SP 13418-900, Brazil
4
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, Research Centre for Agriculture and Environment (CREA-AA), Via C. Ulpiani 5, 70125 Bari, Italy
5
Université de Lyon, UMR5023 Ecologie des Hydrosystèmes Naturels et Anthropisés, CNRS, ENTPE, Université Lyon 1, 3 rue Maurice Audin, 69518 Vaulx-en-Velin, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(1), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11010086
Received: 22 November 2018 / Revised: 26 December 2018 / Accepted: 28 December 2018 / Published: 7 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Hydrology for a Sustainable Land Management. Theory and Practice)
Tree planting and natural regeneration are the main approaches to achieve global forest restoration targets, affecting multiple hydrological processes, such as infiltration of rainfall. Our understanding of the effect of land use history and vegetation on the recovery of water infiltration and soil attributes in both restoration strategies is limited. Therefore, we investigated the recovery of top-soil saturated soil hydraulic conductivity (Ks), soil physical and hydraulic properties in five land use types: (i) a secondary old-growth forest; (ii) a forest established through assisted passive restoration 11 years ago; (iii) an actively restored forest, with a more intensive land use history and 11 years of age; (iv) a pasture with low-intensity use; and (v) a pasture with high-intensity use, in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. For these land use types, we determined the historical land use patterns and conducted soil sampling, using the Beerkan method to determine Ks values in the field. We also measured tree basal area, canopy cover, vegetation height, tree density and species richness in forest covers. The Ks decreased when land use was more intense prior to forest restoration actions. Our results indicate that land use legacy is a crucial factor to explain the current difference in soil and vegetation attributes among study sites. View Full-Text
Keywords: Beerkan method; forest restoration; infiltration; natural regeneration; pasture Beerkan method; forest restoration; infiltration; natural regeneration; pasture
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Lozano-Baez, S.E.; Cooper, M.; Frosini de Barros Ferraz, S.; Ribeiro Rodrigues, R.; Castellini, M.; Di Prima, S. Recovery of Soil Hydraulic Properties for Assisted Passive and Active Restoration: Assessing Historical Land Use and Forest Structure. Water 2019, 11, 86.

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