ProjectA genetic approach for simulating persistence of reintroduced tree species populations in tropical forest restoration plantings
There is a growing number of restoration projects and managements actions being developed in order to conserve and recover forests. Recently, some projects include an effort to introduce high species diversity as well as high intraspecific genetic diversity. However, there is a lack of studies on effects of genetic diversity to restoration effectiveness. The success of a restoration project is often hard to access and the monitoring is high cost. It is not feasible to do experiments to test the effects of different methods, because it takes time, has high cost and is hard to control the environmental variables. So, the use of computer simulations and modelling can help to fill this knowledge gap. This project aims to simulate persistence of population of a reintroduced tree species in tropical forest restoration plantings, using a genetic approach. We will develop an individual-based model to simulate populations of Centrolobium tomentosum in restoration areas. This model will allow us to estimate the minimum number of mother trees from which is necessary to collect seeds for restoration projects; estimate the minimum initial genetic diversity necessary to a self-maintaining population; and understand how spatial distribution affects the success of a restoration project. This model will help to enhance restoration and management projects and to reduce the need of adaptive management after planting the restored areas, reducing the cost of restoration projects.