COS 106-1
Environmental restoration potential of an economically viable agroecological agroforestry system from the Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest Region

Thursday, August 14, 2014: 8:00 AM
Bondi, Sheraton Hotel
Eduardo Seoane, Embrapa Forestry, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation - EMBRAPA, Brazil
Luis C. M. Froufe, Embrapa Forestry, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation - EMBRAPA, Brazil
Fabiane M. Vezzani, UFPR-Universidade Federal do Paraná
Manoel F. Lesama, UFPR-Universidade Federal do Paraná
Regiane Fonini, UFPR-Universidade Federal do Paraná
Soraya Redua, UTP - Universidade Tuiuti do Paraná
Martin Ewert, UFSC- Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
Getulio Shtorache, UFPR-Universidade Federal do Paraná
Daniel Schwiderke, UFPR-Universidade Federal do Paraná
Raul M. Cezar, UFPR-Universidade Federal do Paraná
Jimi Amaral-Silva, UFPR-Universidade Federal do Paraná
Walter Steenbock, ICMBio - Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade

Crises in food and environment all over the world demand appropriate production and commercialization alternatives that promote environmental sustainability and social equity. One such potential initiative is located in the preserved Atlantic Rain Forest Region of Brazil, where under an organization called Cooperafloresta about 130 peasant families have transformed their social and economical situation using Agrofloresta, an agroecological agroforestry system based on the forest's natural succession. Twenty years ago, before adopting Agrofloresta, yearly profit of the peasants was about U$ 703, obtained mainly from bean production on slash-and-burn agriculture. In contrast, in 2011 it was about U$ 2160, obtained from 130 products that Agrofloresta plots produce, including banana, guava and banana candies, pollen, lemons, heart-of-palm, beans, yam, pepper, papaya, squash, pitanga-cherry, honey, pineapple, persimmon, cassava and avocado. However, scarce scientific information about Agrofloresta hinders its adoption as an sustainable agricultural alternative by Brazilian government agencies. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the landscape domestication aspects of Agrofloresta and to suggest optimization strategies. For this purpose, we mapped the land use of all Cooperafloresta with GIS support and measured height and DBH of trees on 12 Agrofloresta plots. Biomass and carbon above the ground were estimated by Pearson's correlation and regression analysis.


Cooperafloresta´s properties have on average 25 hectares and two main land uses: (1) Capoeiras, forests regenerated by natural succession processes, kept unmanaged for biomass, fertility and biodiversity accumulation, to serve as enhanced starting points for future Agrofloresta plots. They occupy about 71% of each property. (2) Agrofloresta plots, areas managed for food production. On average one new Agrofloresta plot of about 0.1 hectare is planted at each property during each spring. In comparison to capoeiras of similar age, Agrofloresta plots have a significantly higher number of tree species, tree individuals per hectare, carbon biomass and annual carbon increase rates. As the result of insufficient initial planning, Agrofloresta plots reaching 15 years old have low production and are cut down and replanted. We suggest that including the trees Zanthoxylum rhoifolium, Campomanesia xanthocarpa, Prunus sellowi, Centrolobium spp and Citharexylum myrianthum on new Agrofloresta plots would provide timber and non-timber products until Agrofloresta plots reach 25 years old, resulting in longer turnover rates and thus augmenting environmental restoration capability. Furthermore, we observed that Agrofloresta is a wise nature domestication method. Agrofloresta plots and capoeiras, rotated in space and time, provide food production with social justice in a landscape undergoing an intense environmental restoration process.