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International Journal of Forestry Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 908465, 8 pages
Research Article

Forest Plantations and Water Consumption: A Strategy for Hydrosolidarity

1Department of Forest Science, University of São Paulo, 13400-970 Piracicaba, SP, Brazil
2International Paper do Brasil, Forest Management and Sustainability System, 13840-970 Mogi Guaçu, SP, Brazil
3Institute of Forest Research and Studies (IPEF), Catchment Monitoring Program (PROMAB), 13400-970 Piracicaba, SP, Brazil
4Department of Forest Science, Laboratory of Forest Hydrology, University of São Paulo, 13400-970 Piracicaba, SP, Brazil

Received 11 July 2011; Revised 13 October 2011; Accepted 21 November 2011

Academic Editor: John Sessions

Copyright © 2012 W. P. Lima et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A case study of a deliberate change in the design of a new Eucalyptus plantation, aimed at alleviating water impacts, was carried out in an experimental catchment located in the center part of the State of São Paulo, Brazil. It involved the identification of saturated areas in the catchment, based essentially on topographic analysis, as a tool to help in zoning of the new forest plantation, with the objective of improving the flow of water to downstream users, as well as to avoid water quality changes. The design involved the allocation of part of the identified saturated areas as water conservation areas, as well as a change in the spacing of the planting. Measurements of tree growth at the age of two years of the new plantation reveal that the forest productivity of the new plantation design, in terms of projected annual wood increment at the end of the rotation, will be similar to the old plantation scheme, despite the loss of planted area. Preliminary results of the continuous monitoring of the catchment water balance appear to indicate that the objective of increasing the catchment water yield may possibly also be achieved.