Program for Environmental Monitoring in Micro-Watersheds

The Program for Environmental Monitoring in Micro-Watersheds (PROMAB - Programa de Monitoramento Ambiental em Microbacias), as one of the IPEF cooperative programs, is a research program coordinated by the Forest Hydrology Laboratory of the Forest Science Department of ESALQ/USP. In whole, the program currently has 18 experimental micro-watersheds, out of which 10 are micro-watersheds with planted eucalyptus forests, 03 micro-watersheds with planted pine forest, 4 experimental micro-watersheds with native forestand 01 with pasture.

Each project is coordinated, kept and analyzed individually. Thus, the data gathered in the micro-watershed or in the experimental micro-watersheds of a certain participant company are analyzed and stored in a database management system, located in the IPEF server, and are made available to the company as a report. The global results of the set of micro-watersheds also make possible for hydrologic analyses aimed at identification of similarities, trends and behaviors of the relations between planted forest handling and water, in terms of amount (water consumption by planted forests) and quality (hydrologic impacts of the handling activities), as well as indication of the hydrologic similarity of the different regions.

The origin of PROMAB was composed of research projects of the Forest Hydrology Laboratory, of the Forest Science Department of Esalq/USP, the first of them installed in 1987, in two experimental micro-watersheds located in areas of the then-FLORIN Reflorestamento Integrado (currently, Fibria Celulose SA), at Fazenda Bela Vista, Municipality of Santa Branca, in Vale do Paraíba, SP. Throughout years, other companies joined the program, gradually increasing the number of experimental micro-watersheds. The updated experimental network can be observed in the following illustration.

Mapa de Localização
Location of the experimental micro-watersheds belonging to PROMAB


PROMAB is focused on use of the experimental micro-watershed for assessment of the forest handling effects on the hydrous resources. The concern to the effects of forest plantations on the water is a permanent subject and current in the whole world and several results show that handling of forest plantations may lead to hydrologic impacts in the micro-watershed scale. The basic variables of such possible impacts involve at least the following aspects: conflicts due to use of water, micro-watershed health, downstream impacts and maintenance of the ground productive potential. In the current knowledge level, the analysis of such variables may be made from use of the following hydrologic indicators: hydrous balance of the micro-watershed, hydrologic regime and outflow peak, physical and chemical variables of the stream water, ground and nutrient losses and ground water level. Thus, the basic assumption is that change to such hydrologic components of the micro-watershed may be seen as suitable indicator for monitoring, in the long term, of the environmental sustainability of the planted forest handling.

Instituto de Pesquisas e Estudos Florestais
Via Comendador Pedro Morganti, 3500 - Bairro Monte Alegre
CEP: 13415-000 - Piracicaba, SP - Brasil
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