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July 2001 Brazil Program
USDA Forest Service International Programs
Semi-Annual Report

Overview and Highlights | Fire and Environmental Change | Sustainable Forest Management



Overview

The Brazil Program consists of several components that are independently managed but closely coordinated to provide the greatest possible payoff to Brazilian and United States forest managers and forest users.

The Sustainable Forest Management Project provides baseline biological information underlying the development of advanced forest management strategies, providing assistance with institution building and analysis for silviculture, environmental conservation, and in the past ecotourism. It is closely linked with Brazilian Space Agency (INPE) and NASA led Large-Scale Atmosphere/Biosphere project. Silvicultural development has concentrated on the multiple advantages of low-impact harvesting. The Forest Management Project has been focused on the Tapajós National Forest, but also includes development and training at Cauaxi in conjunction with the Tropical Forestry Foundation.

The Fire and Environmental Change Project is a coordinated series of research and development activities addressing questions of biomass burning, global change, and fire-danger rating in Brazilian ecosystems. The project contributes remote sensing for fire detection and mapping, and compiles inventories of fire activity and air pollution through cooperation by the Pacific Southwest Research Station and NASA with IBAMA and other Brazilian institutions. A fire-hazard rating system, used to anticipate flammability and fire effects in tropical ecosystems, is being developed by the Pacific Northwest Research Station in collaboration with the Brazilian Space Institute and others. This progress report, covering the six-month period of October 2000 through March 2001, is one in a series of outputs describing the mission, scope, activities, and accomplishments of the USDA Forest Service/USAID Program in Brazil. Additional information can be obtained from the National Coordinator or the Forest Service's International Programs website at: www.fs.fed.us/global/globe/l_amer/brazil/welcome.htm A copy of this report can be found at: www.fs.fed.us/pnw/fera/brazil/


Fire and Environmental Change

Highlights

  • The Fire and Environmental Research Applications, USDA PNW Research Station team continued a successful and active cooperation program with Brazilian counterparts. During the reporting period, FERA completed a final manuscript of the Volume 1 of the Cerrado Photoseries. The manuscript has been translated to Portuguese and will be published in English and Portuguese.
  • The FERA field campaign season in the Amazon basin was scaled down in 2001 to comply with IBAMA's fire restrictions in the state of Mato Grosso. The group monitored an operational slash burn site in October when the fire restrictions were lifted.
  • A combustion furnace was completed and fully tested at INPE's laboratory facilities in Cachoeira Paulista. The first combustion tests were successful. Initial combustion experimentation with tropical biomass has started, and the laboratory tests will be conducted though the summer. Full analysis of combustion gases is also being conducted. Laboratory tests will provide improved combustion rates and better smoke emission factors from Amazon forest burning. Drs. Sandberg and Alvarado met with INPE's and UNESP's collaborators in Cachoeira Paulista to work on the final details of the laboratory tests and fieldwork in 2001.
  • The FERA group presented three papers at the Fire2000 conference in San Diego, California. They also submitted a paper to the XII Congresso Brasileiro de Agrometeorologia. During the NASA's LBA meeting in December of 2000 in San Francisco, the work conducted by the group was accepted as part of the LBA work in the Amazon. · FERA continues data analysis of the photo series in the Cerrado vegetation, the combustion project in Alta Floresta, and the risk assessment at the Floresta Nacional do Tapajos.

A plan for a short course on thermal infrared remote sensing was completed in January 2001. The course is designed for technical specialists from INPE, IBAMA, Brazilian universities, and the Technical Center of the Brazilian Air Force. It covers design and properties of infrared sensors including performance limits, cooling methods, recent advances in detector arrays, satellite systems, and applications for fire and natural remote sensing. The course will be presented at the Simposio Brasilerio de Sensoriamento Remoto. · FireMapper was tested over agricultural burning in Goiás, Tocantins and a prescribed fire in the Reserva Biologica de IBGE in the fall of 2000. Measurements taken demonstrated the ability to interpret fire behavior and radiant emissions for remote sensing images.


Sustainable Forest Management

Highlights

· Researchers from the University of California and the University of Sao Paulo (USP) have acquired one year of continuous data at the Tapajos National Forest site that will be logged after June 2001. This site is being used to study eddy covariance studies of carbon dioxide and water vapor flux. · During January 2001, on a recently harvested site in the Tabajos, researchers from US Forest Service and the University of New Hampshire measured logging residues (coarse woody debris) generated by the harvest activity. This measurement was taken to complement the study on the effects of harvesting on soil properties. · Preliminary indications from the nutrient monitoring and trace gas effects of harvesting show that timber harvesting increases nitrous oxide and methane emissions measurably. However, when these emissions extrapolated to a wider area, the effects of harvesting on trace gases (expressed as a Global Warming Potential) are far smaller than the effects from the carbon loss. · The study on the effects of low impact logging on understory bird and bats in the FLONA Tapajos is coming to an end. The mist net sampling was completed in November and December 2000. · An article was written in the Folha de Sao Paulo about the Bigleaf Mahogany Project in Southeast Para. The research efforts are entering their 5th field season and the mahogany management project has begun in Acre with the State Secretariat of Forestry and Extractivism in Rio Branco. This project will investigate the costs and benefits of extraction of mahogany with enrichment planting at large spatial scales. · Colleagues at the Fundacao Floresta Tropical (FFT) submitted a paper to Forest Ecology and Management entitled "Forestry Canopy Damage and Recovery in Reduced Impact and Conventional Selective Logging in Eastern Para, Brazil. · A paper on the use of LANDSAT data to evaluate logging damage is nearly complete.


Fire and Environmental Change

Activities and Progress

Remote Sensing Deployment and Technology Transfer

The Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station deployed its Airborne Sciences Aircraft to Brazil for a four-week mission in the fall of 2000. The team tested the new FireMapper's remote sensing system for the first time over active fires including agricultural burning in the Cerrado in Goiás and Tocantins and a prescribed fire at the Reserva Ecológica do IBGE at Brasília. The FireMapper is a low-cost, thermal-infrared imaging spectrometer for fire and ecosystem monitoring, which has been developed through a Research Joint Venture between the Forest Service and Space Instruments Inc. and with the support of the Working Group. FireMapper and its associated high-resolution visible-light and near-IR cameras were also employed to map vegetation of the Reserva and to record land use along transects in the Cerrado north of Brasília. During this reporting period, the first multispectral thermal infrared radiance measurements were analyzed for Brazilian wildfires (see Figure).

The FireMapper development is now the subject of discussions regarding a potential Tropical Fire Mapping Mission based on a Brazilian satellite platform. The Working Group is currently working with INPE and IBAMA to define the required sensor performance and outline the mechanical and electrical requirements of the proposed system.

Fire Climate

The Experimental Climate Prediction Center at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) continued climate simulations begun during 1999 under the supplemental program of fire management support to IBAMA. IBAMA has developed a source of validation data and validations were begun for regional precipitation forecasts. Simulations are applying a Regional Spectral Model (RSM) of climate (see http://ecpc.ucsd.edu/projects/brazil.html) to provide daily to seasonal predictions of fire-weather severity and assess climate variables affecting smoke accumulation and long-term changes in forest susceptibility to fire.

Fire and Environmental Change The Working Group

The fire and environmental change working group is providing technical assistance to the Government of Brazil on issues of fire and environmental change through a multi-year cooperation with the Brazilian Federal Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, IBAMA. Activities during the first half of fiscal year 2001 involved: · Continuing analysis of remote sensing data from the 2000 airborne campaign; · Continued simulations for IBAMA with a regional-scale spectral climate model, which has been customized for fire management with Internet-accessible forecasts for South America; and · Planning for a short course in Brazil on advanced remote-sensing technology.

Combustion and Carbon Emissions from Tropical Biomass

The manuscript "Biomass fire consumption and carbon release rates of rainforest clearing experiments conducted in Northern Mato Grosso, Brazil" has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research. The paper was accepted for publication and is currently in the editorial review phase. Two more papers are finished and will be submitted to peer reviewed journals.

Results from the FERA-INPE-UNESP cooperation has been presented in several scientific forums in the two countries. The group presented three papers at the Fire2000 conference in San Diego, California. The presentations included papers on biomass consumption in slash burnings, natural drying of logs and heat flux in deforestations in Amazonia, and a presentation on tropical fires. A paper was also presented at the Brazilian Congress on Thermal Engineering and Sciences in Rio Grande do Sul. A paper on albedo and soil heat flux before and after slash burnings in Amazonia was submitted to the XII Congresso Brasileiro de Agrometeorologia in Fortaleza.

The group composed by FERA and collaborators were invited to join the NASA's LBA program. During the fall LBA meeting in San Francisco, California, the group was accepted as part of the part of the LBA work in the Amazon.

The field campaign season in the Amazon basin was scaled down in 2001 to comply with IBAMA's fire restrictions in the state of Mato Grosso. The group limited the work to monitoring an operational slash burning in October once the fire restrictions were lifted. The last slash burning conducted during the rainy season reflected extremely low biomass consumption. There were no direct biomass measurements due to the unsuccessful burning pattern. Therefore, the floristic inventory of the experimental areas, selected during summer 2000, will finish next February.

Harvesting and burning and research permits have been obtained from IBAMA and CNPq for the 2001 field tests. The tests will continue at the Fazenda Caiabi near Alta Floresta. Outreach meetings were conducted in February 2001 with local IBAMA personnel, city authorities, and university students and faculty to explain the scope of work and objectives of the fire research. Local authorities will visit the field experiments during the summer, and participation of local state university faculty and students is increasing. The Biology program from UNEMAT will continue participating with work on the floristic inventory and assessing the effect of the burnings in the regeneration patterns.

A combustion furnace was completed, equipped, and fully tested at INPE's laboratory facilities in Cachoeira Paulista. The first combustion tests were successfully performed with logs from forests nearby Cachoeira Paulista. Initial combustion experimentation with tropical biomass from the Amazon forest has started. The laboratory tests will be conducted though the summer. During the summer, field tests in Alta Floresta will be used to validate the observations in the laboratory furnace. Full analysis of combustion gases is also being conducted from the furnace tests. Laboratory tests will provide improved combustion rates and better smoke emission factors from burning Amazon forest biomass. Drs. Sandberg and Alvarado met with INPE's and UNESP's collaborators in Cachoeira Paulista to work on the final details of the furnace design, laboratory tests and fieldwork in 2001.

Continued consultations with IBAMA and INPE personnel to develop a fine fuel flammability model that will be integrated to the PROARCO model to represent local ecological and weather variability. Ground validation of PROARCO in Alta Floresta is schedule to start during the 2001 field season in Alta Floresta.

Dr. Fernando Costa started a postdoctoral appointment at the USDA Corvallis Forestry Sciences Laboratory. Dr. Costa is working closely with Dr. Sandberg to develop a smoldering combustion model that will be applicable to combustion of biomass in different forest ecosystems. INPE, FAPESP, and the US Forest Service are sponsoring Dr. Costa's post doctorate work.

Fire Risk in Reduced-Impact Harvesting Systems

Also, due to burning restrictions and wet weather this year, the fieldwork at the FLONA Tapajos was scaled down this field season. Researchers continue analyzing data on flammability and weather monitoring at the Floresta Nacional do Tapajos. Analysis includes data from low impact logging occurred in 1997 and 1999. The results are being presented in scientific meetings and will be submitted to peer-reviewed journals.

Plans for the 2001 field season have been completed. New partnerships are being developed with scientists participating in the NASA's LBA project at the FLONA Tapajos.

A literature review by Drs. Alvarado and Sandberg on Logging In Tropical Forest: Literature Review On Ecological Impacts was complete. The report was submitted to USAID in Washington, D. C. The report is also available in PDF format from the FERA's Internet web site (http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/fera/brazil)

Photo Series to Assess Flammability in the Cerrado

During the reporting period, FERA and collaborators completed a final manuscript of the Volume 1 of the Cerrado Photoseries. The manuscript has been translated to Portuguese and will be published in the two languages. During the reporting period, the draft of the photoseries was completed, and translated to Portuguese. Referees in Brazil reviewed the draft. The review comments were incorporated and the final manuscript and photos were prepared for publication.

FERA continues the collaborative research program with the University of Brasilia and IBAMA to assess the flammability of Cerrado ecosystems across a broad environmental gradient. Field sites have been identifies for additional photoseries in the cerradao and mata near Brasilia. IBAMA's authorization has been requested to sample sites near Brasilia and in Chapada dos Guimaraes in Mato Grosso. The fieldwork will be conducted in July 2001. This additional work will be incorporated in a second volume of the photoseries. assessing biomass and

For the first time, research on quantitative modeling of flaming, smoldering, and residual combustion has been conducted in woody biomass. This bi-national research team is conducting parallel studies on open burnings in the Amazonian forest and at INPE's laboratory facilities. The cooperation has produced several master theses on biomass combustion, forest structure, and floristic inventory. Two doctoral students are currently working on the project, and a new masters student will join the group. The bilateral cooperation has enabled a Brazilian scientist to spend a post doctorate residence with the USFS PNW Research Station.

The collaboration has produced papers that are being published in refereed journals and several papers have been presented in scientific meeting in Brazil and the United States. The work that the group is conducting in the Amazon forest has been recognized by the LBA project as an important component for understanding biomass combustion and smoke emissions in the region.


Publications

F.S. Costa, C.A.G. Veras, D.V. Sandberg, E. Alvarado, R. Gielow, A.M. Serra Jr., J.C. Santos (In Press). Biomass fire consumption and carbon release rates of rainforest clearing experiments conducted in Northern Mato Grosso, Brazil. Journal of Geophysical Research.

R. Gielow, J. A. Carvalho, D. V. Sandberg, E. Alvarado, F. S. Costa, J. C.Santos. Secagem natural de troncos em área de derrubada na Amazônia. Brazilian Congress on Thermal Engineering and Sciences in Rio Grande do Sul. October 3, 2000.

E. A. Alvarado and D. V. Sandberg. 2001. Logging In Tropical Forest: Literature Review On Ecological Impacts. Report to USAID in Washington, D. C. The report is also available in PDF from the FERA's web site (http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/fera/brazil)

R. Gielow, J.A. Carvalho Jr, E. Alvarado, D.V. Sandberg, and J. C.Santos . Evolução Do Albedo, Saldo De Radiação E Fluxo De Calor No Solo Após Derrubada Florestal Seguida De Queimada E Rebrota Na Região De Alta Floresta, Mato Grosso. Paper Submitted to the XII Congresso Brasileiro de Agrometeorologia in Fortaleza.


Staffing

USDA FOREST SERVICE, PACIFIC NORTHWEST RESEARCH STATION (PNW)

  • Dr. David V. Sandberg, Supervisory Research Biologist
  • Roger D. Ottmar, Research Forester
  • Robert E. Vihnanek, Research Forester

USDA FOREST SERVICE, PACIFIC SOUTHWEST RESEARCH STATION (PSW)

  • Dr. Philip J. Riggan, Ecologist/Project Leader
  • Robert N. Lockwood, Ecologist
  • Robert Tissell, Computer Analyst
  • Jennifer Rechel, Geographer Lynn Wolden

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

  • Ernesto Alvarado, Quantitative Fire Ecologist
  • Gustavo de Hees Negreiros, Ph.D. Candidate

UNIVERSITY OF BRASILIA

  • Dra. Heloisa Miranda, Chair B Department of Ecology
  • Dr. Carlos Gurgel, Mechanical Engineer
  • Saulo Marques de Andrade, Ecologist

UNIVERSIDADE ESTADUAL DE SAO PAULO, CAMPUS GUARATINGUETA

  • Joao A. De Carvalho, Aeronautical Engineer
  • Elaine Reis, Doctoral Student

UNIVERSIDADE ESTADUAL DO MATO GROSSO, CAMPUS ALTA FLORESTA

  • Antonio Malheiros, Forest Ecolgist

INPE (INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE PESQUISAS ESPACIAIS)

  • Dr. Fernando de Souza Costa, Aerospace Engineer (Currently a post-doctorate research associate at the PNW Station in Corvallis, Oregon)
  • Dr. Ralf Gielow, Meteorologist Jose Carlos dos Santos, Field Research Coordinator

INPA (INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE PESQUISAS DA AMAZONIA)

  • Dr. Niro Higuchi, Tropical Silviculture Professor

IBAMA/DIRCOF

  • Joao Antonio Raposo Pereira, Program Coordinator
  • Helvecio Mafra Filho, Computer Analyst NASA Ames Research Center
  • James A. Brass Robert Higgins Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Experimental Climate Prediction Center
  • Dr. John Roads

Sustainable Forest Management

Activities and Progress

Effects of Harvesting on the FLONA Tapajos and Other Areas

The Effects of Harvesting project has two goals. The first goal is to evaluate the effect of selective timber harvest at the Tapajos National Forest on a wide range of ecosystem functions. The second goal is the evaluation of the economic efficiency and effects on harvest system sustainability for alternative methods of land management. The research activities for the effects of harvesting can be grouped into 6 themes (Harvesting Systems, Biophysics, Biogeochemistry, Wildlife and Biodiversity). Harvest is ongoing at the FLONA Tapajos with an expected area of 600 ha. to be harvested in 2001.

Harvesting Systems

Drs. Ken McNabb, and Graeme Lockaby from Auburn University, and Luiz Gonzaga da Silva surveyed a recently harvested (Quadra 2, Block 1) and adjoining undisturbed control area. They took samples to measure the effects of harvesting on soil properties. This area was previously surveyed in 1996 in preparation for this study. Several students from Auburn University and FCAP participated. Data analysis is underway. During January 2001, Michael Keller and Michael Palace from USFS and University of New Hampshire complemented this survey by measurement of logging residues (coarse woody debris) generated by the harvest activity in this block.

The impact of the harvest on the forest canopy and the prospects for detecting this damage from satellite observation is a growing theme in these studies. Rodrigro Pereira Jr. from Fundacao Floresta Tropical and colleagues submitted a paper to Forest Ecology and Management entitled "Forest Canopy Damage and Recovery in Reduced Impact and Conventional Selective Logging in Eastern Para, Brazil." The abstract for this paper is included as an appendix. A second paper led by Greg Asner of the University of Colorado evaluating the use of LANDSAT data to evaluate logging damage is nearly complete.

Biophysics

Eddy covariance studies of carbon dioxide and water vapor flux have begun at the tower site prior to the anticipated 2001 harvest. Instrumentation was installed in June 2000 and has functioned superbly. Dr. Michael Goulden, University of California, Irvine; Dr. Humberto Rocha, USP have acquired nearly 1 year of continuous data at the site that will be logged sometime after June 2001. Dr. Steve Wofsy, Harvard University has installed instrumentation at a control site that has been functioning since April. To complement the carbon budget effort, Michael Keller has begun studies of coarse woody debris in harvested and undisturbed blocks at the FLONA Tapajos. This will be extended to Cauaxi later in 2001. Dr. Scott Saleska of Harvard University is monitoring permanent plots, and Drs. Goulden and Rocha are monitoring harvested and undisturbed sites. Over 2000 trees have been measured with dendrometer bands for precise measurements of diameter increment over the short term. An instrumented "flux" tower (left) and a walk-up canopy tower at the new facility in Santarém, Brazil.

Effects of Low Impact Logging on Understory Diversity

Birds And Bats in the FLONA Tapajos Two sampling expeditions have been completed in the 2 control blocks and 2 low-impact (20m3/ha) logging blocks in the FLONA Tapajos. Mist net sampling was completed in November-December 2000 and in May 2001. In the Nov-Dec. period both birds and bats were sampled over 16 days in each period using mist nets placed in treefall gaps and forest understory of both control and logged blocks. In addition, sampling also occurred in log storage sites ("patios"). Data are currently being entered in the computer from both trips, but analyses have not yet been completed. The last sampling of birds and bats occurred in June 2001. Preliminary studies of the effects of low impact logging indicated very small effects on the bird populations, at least in the first two years following harvest. Avian frugivores and small avian omnivores have increased in the harvest site, relative to the controls. Most of the bird populations in other diet groups have remained unchanged, at least in the first two years.

Bigleaf Mahagony in southeast Para: Its Life History and Management

A fifth year of field studies at four sites in southeast Pará was completed in October 2000. Results from field studies on mahogany in southeast Para will have a direct impact on forestry policy in the Brazilian Amazon. By providing concrete information on mahogany's life history - how fast it grows, how it reproduces, how and where it successfully regenerates - a blueprint can be offered to forest mangers for encouraging mahogany replacement after extraction. The principle field site in Marajoara is still being monitored, observed and guarded against illegal encroachment.

The groundwork for a new applied research project in the western Amazonian state of Acre was laid, in cooperation with forest engineers at the State Secretariat of Forestry and Extractivism in Rio Branco. This project will investigate costs and benefits of mahogany's managed extraction with enrichment planting at large spatial scales. Future plans also include developing extension materials designed and distributed to various audiences. "Forest Manager" spans a wide range of experience and objectives and includes trained foresters employed by the logging industry, ranchers with remnant trees in logged forest holdings, small-holder agriculturists and rubber tappers on extractive reserves in Acre.


Publications

APPENDIX: (From a paper submitted to Forest Ecology and Management)

Forest Canopy Damage and Recovery in Reduced Impact and Conventional Selective Logging in Eastern Para, Brazil

Rodrigo Pereira Jr., Johan Zweede, Gregory P. Asner, and Michael Keller

Abstract

We investigated ground and canopy damage and recovery following conventional logging and reduced impact logging (RIL) of moist tropical forest in the eastern Amazon of Brazil. Paired conventional and RIL blocks were selectively logged with a harvest intensity of approximately 23 m3 ha-1 (geometric volume) in the dry seasons (July- December) of 1996 and 1998. Ground damage (= roads + skid trails + log decks) in the conventional logging treatments occupied 8.9-11.2% of total operational area. In contrast, ground damage in RIL treatments ranged from 4.6-4.8% of the total area. Forest canopy damage was assessed using gap fraction measurements collected with an automated optical canopy analyzer (LAI-2000; Licor Inc.) in March 1999. Canopy opening varied by time since logging. The recently logged (1998) blocks had integrated canopy gap fractions of 21.6% and 10.9% of total area for conventional and RIL blocks, respectively. The blocks logged in 1996 had more closed canopies with 16.5% and 4.9% gap fraction for conventional and RIL blocks, respectively. For comparison, undisturbed forest had a canopy gap fraction of 1.3%. Measurements of ground disturbance and gap fraction using the Licor LAI-2000 generally agree with other field evaluations of RIL and conventional logging. Detailed understanding of canopy structural changes resulting from different logging intensities are critical to the prospect of logging damage estimation using current and future remote sensing products.


Staffing

USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station

  • Dr. Thomas P. Holmes, Research Forester. Dr. Holmes is the leader of the economic assessment of the costs and benefits of Low-Impact Logging versus Conventional Logging in the Brazilian Amazon.

Tropical Forest Foundation

  • Johan Zweede B Forester, provides leadership and expertise in low-impact logging demonstration and training elements of the component. Others

IMAZON

  • Paulo Barreto is collaborating in the economic analysis.

University of Florida

  • Dr. Doug Carter Frederick Boltz
  • Geoffrey Blate

International Institute of Tropical Forestry

  • Dr. Michael Keller - Research Scientist, provides leadership and coordination for the involvement of numerous scientific institutions working on the FLONA Tapajos and the LBA Ecology Module.
  • Dr. Joseph Wunderle - Research Scientist, provides expertise and leadership in the avifauna component of the Tapajos Project.
  • Dr. Frank Wadsworth - Retired Research Silviculturalist provides silvicultural leadership and expertise in low impact logging.
  • Dr. Whendee Silver - also of the University of California Berkeley, provides expertise and leadership related to soil nutrients and below ground processes.

Other

  • Jason Neff - provides expertise to describe behavior of organic matter at the FLONA TapajoAlan Townsend and Greg Asner (University of Colorado) and Mercedes Bustamente (University of Brasilia) provide expertise in the analysis of satellite imagery and soil and vegetation samples from the vicinity of the FLONA Tapajos.

Yale University

  • James Grogan

 

For further information, contact:
Dr. David Sandberg, Team Leader
3200 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, Oregon 97331 USA
(541)750-7265; (541)758-7760 fax

dsandberg@fs.fed.us
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