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Background: The conservation and restoration of forest landscapes is an important aspect of sustainable development. In semi-arid regions these practices are difficulted by the harsh climate of these environments, with low precipitation values and prolonged dry seasons. The objective of this study is to identify tree species from the south of the Brazilian state of Piauí that have potential to be used in forest restoration programs.
Results: Data from forest inventory and tree characteristics were used to select eight tree species using target species definition, focusing on species with desirable wood properties, abundance in the study region, favorable dendrometric variables, seed availability, ease of seed germination and seedling growth in nursery and field conditions, among others. These species were then evaluated as candidates for restoration using a framework species approach focusing on the following attributes: (i) 70% or higher seedling survival in the field; (ii) seedling height of 45 cm or taller after the first growing season in the field and (iii) 70% or greater nursery seedling survival.
Conclusion: The species Combretum glaucocarpum, Cenostigma macrophyllum, and Pityrocarpa moniliformis are suitable to be employed in forest restoration programs in the southern region of Piauí, Brazil. Further studies must be carried out to assess the behavior of these and other potential tree species in long term field conditions and under varying silvicultural regimes, a key aspect for forest restoration.
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