November 27, 2009

Ilha do Cardoso 10-ha plot established in Brazil

Text contributed by Julia Stuart and Alberto Vicentini

Under the guidance of Alexandre de Oliveira, students from the Universidade de São Paulo (USP) and technicians from Cananéia, Brazil, recently completed the first CTFS census of the 10-ha Ilha do Cardoso plot in Brazil. The plot was originally established in 2000/2004-05, with a DBH minimum of 4.78 cm, as one of four 10-ha plots in the project Parcelas Permanente São Paulo (PPSP, BIOTA-FAPESP) to study the Atlantic, restinga, semideciduous, and cerradão forest types that occur in São Paulo State.

In 2008, Ilha do Cardoso joined the CTFS network with the inauguration of a census to include all trees ≥ 1 cm. The census catalogued four new species (Rubiaceae) not enumerated in 2000/2004-05, bringing the plot total to 106 species and approximately 40,000 trees.

The plot is located in restinga forest in Ilha do Cardoso State Park on the extreme south coast of São Paulo State near the city of Cananéia. The mountainous island is approximately 22,500 ha and was made a state park in 1962. Despite nutrient-poor and water-stressed sandy soils, the forest shows high diversity. At 22°S latitude, Ilha do Cardoso is the southernmost plot in the CTFS network.

Funding from the HSBC Climate Partnership supported the census, and many research projects at Ilha do Cardoso are being coordinated by the Laboratório de Ecologia de Florestas Tropicais at USP.