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Sustainable management of the rainforest

Dr. Angela de Avila has received Thurn und Taxis Incentive Award for Forest Sciences 2017

Freiburg, Dec 13, 2017

Sustainable management of the rainforest

Angela de Avila. Photo: Jürgen Gocke

Dr. Angela de Avila of the Chair of Siviculture has received the Thurn und Taxis Incentive Award for Forest Sciences, with an endowment of 6,000 euros. Her dissertation analyzed a 30 year experiment into whether Brazil’s tropical rainforests in the Amazon can be sustainably managed from an ecological perspective. De Avila investigated how resilient the diversity and composition of tree species as well as the carbon stocks of the forests are to human intervention.

In her dissertation, de Avila shows that the rainforests could recover within 30 years if no more than 20 per cent of the original vegetable biomass is used. This also applies to tree species that are commercially used – if too many of them are felled, it is mainly the unusable tree species that rejuvenate. The resilience of the forests hereby depends primarily on how intensely the wood is harvested and thinned. Aspects such as the biodiversity of tree species on the other hand have very little influence on the recovery of the forest.

So forests are far more robust than is often assumed. De Avila’s research also shows that the nature and intensity of harvesting and sivicultural interventions must be carefully controlled for the ecosystem to be able to recover rapidly.

Contribution to research by the Chair of Siviculture in uni’wissen magazine


Angela Luciana de Avila
Professor of Siviculture
University of Freiburg
Tel.: +49 761 203 3678