Conserved tropical forests provide multiple benefits to people, but the contributions of forests undergoing restoration are still uncertain, as many restoration areas are found in suboptimal biophysical conditions for ecosystem recovery, being frequently impacted by human-mediated disturbances, and are too young. Quite often, the assessment of restoration benefits is also limited to a few ecosystem functions, limiting a broader understanding of the restoration of forest multifunctionality. Here, we will present the methodological approaches developed by the NewFor project to understand restoration benefits to nature and people. We employed a multi-scale, multi-functional monitoring approach, in which different restoration systems (e.g., restoration plantations, second-growth forests, active and abandoned tree monocultures, agroforests) and reference conditions (degraded and conserved old-growth forests, agro-pastoral land uses) were evaluated in the field, using a multifunctional monitoring protocol, and through different remote sensing techniques (lidar sensors in drone, airplane and satellite). We will describe the application of this monitoring approach to forests of São Paulo state, southeastern Brazil, and explore the potential contributions to decision making.
forest restoration, restoration plantations, natural regeneration, forest multifunctionality