In case you are not being able to read this e-mail message , click HERE

Click aqui para ler essa Newsletter em Português


Dear friends,

Here we are again, with the 11th issue of our Eucalyptus Newsletter, hoping to provide you valuable information about our eucalyptus friends. In this issue, we are again bringing a lot of information and knowledge. I hope you enjoy them.

In the section "The Friends of the Eucalyptus" we are telling the professional life, scientific production, and career of one of the world's most renowned expert on agroforestry and short rotation crops for energy generation: our dear friend Dr. Laercio Couto. Laercio is a friend of mine for over 30 years. For this reason, I know very well his outstanding skills and qualification to generate fresh knowledge in sciences related to the practical utilization of the eucalyptus. I'm very proud and happy to have had the chance to introduce him to you. Moreover, since Laercio and his research team are responsible for the great majority of the publications in Brazil related to agroforestry and energy generation based on eucalyptus, you are to have an excellent information bank about these two very important subjects in forestry: "Agroforestry with Eucalyptus" and "Eucalyptus short rotation crops for energy generation".

Since I have observed a great interest from our readers about photos of the eucalyptus, I've this time decided to bring a special section offering to you the possibility to find great pictures about these magic trees, flowers, forests and ecosystems of the eucalyptus: "Eucalyptus Photo Gallery". One place I strongly recommend for watching nice photos is our website When talking about photos, we have immediate association with drawings. A couple of months ago, I decided to create, taking advantage of the talent of my two daughters Alessandra and Ester, the online booklet "A Field Guide to the Eucalyptus and Plantation Forest Trees". I'm sure that you are to like their art. Have a glimpse and see Alessandra's and Ester's work.

In this issue, we are also bringing to you the sixth chapter of our Eucalyptus Online Book. The title of this chapter (only in Portuguese till now) is: "Eco-efficiency in managing pulp fiber losses and paper broke generation". We are also introducing to you the number 04 chapter in English, titled "Vessel elements and eucalyptus pulps". The English translations for chapters 05 and 06 are on the way, please, be patient and wait a little more.

The mini-article in this edition deals with the water consumption by the eucalyptus forest plantations: "Eucalyptus planted forests and water consumption". It is a very controversial issue, and there are many references in the literature about it. In a near future, I intend to cover more deeply this subject in a chapter of the Eucalyptus Online Book.

As you may notice, I'm placing a lot of efforts in environmental issues. This is a key point nowadays. I hope to be bringing my contribution to the forestry and pulp and paper segments. I'm being quite strong and positive on this. My purpose is that the eucalyptus pulp and paper production continues to grow in an environmentally sound way in the direction of the dreamed sustainability.

As we are used to do, in this newsletter issue, we are bringing a lot of interesting subjects about the eucalyptus. The purpose is to offer knowledge in a way that you may learn more, and to enjoy doing such. For this, we are forcing you, in some extent, to navigate the web to grab as much on good information as possible. We also offer good articles, and recommendations of books and interesting events.

In case you are not registered yet to receive free-of-charge the Eucalyptus Newsletter and the chapters of the Eucalyptus Online Book, I suggest you to do it through the following link: Click here for registration.

We have now several non financial supporting partners to the Eucalyptus Online Book & Newsletter: TAPPI, IPEF, SIF, CeluloseOnline, CETCEP/SENAI, RIADICYP, TECNICELPA, ATCP Chile, Appita, CENPAPEL, TAPPSA, SBS. They are helping to disseminate our efforts in favor of the eucalyptus in countries as Brazil, USA, Chile, Portugal, Colombia, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. However, thanks to the world wide web, in reality they are helping to promote our project to the entire world.

Thanks very much to our partners for believing in what we are doing. Know more about all of our today’s partners at the URL address:

Thanks again for the support to our work. I beg your help to inform about and to promote our project to your friends , in case you feel these publications may be helpful to them. Please, accept my personal thanks, and also the gratitude from ABTCP, BOTNIA, ARACRUZ and partners.

Our best wishes to all of you, and please enjoy your reading.

Celso Foelkel

In this edition

Eucalyptus Online Book Chapter 6 (in Portuguese)

Eucalyptus Online Book Chapter 4 (in English)

Online Technical References

References on Events and Courses

Online Technical Journals


Eucalyptus Photo Gallery

A Field Guide to the Eucalyptus and Plantation Forest Trees

The Friends of the Eucalyptus - Dr. Laercio Couto

Technical mini-article by Celso Foelkel
Eucalyptus planted forests and water consumption

Eucalyptus Online Book Chapter 6 (in Portuguese)

For downloading the chapter (in Adobe pdf - 8.8 MB) just click the name of the chapter. In case you do not have the Adobe Reader installed in your computer, please visit and find the instructions how to get it.

"Eco-efficiency in managing pulp fiber losses and paper broke generation"

Eucalyptus Online Book Chapter 4 (in English)

For downloading the chapter (in Adobe pdf - 9.8 MB) just click the name of the chapter. In case you do not have the Adobe Reader installed in your computer, please visit and find the instructions how to get it.


Online Technical References

In this section, we are offering some very good euca-links with relevant publications available in the virtual world wide web library. You have only to click the URLs addresses to open the documents and/or to save them. Since they are references, we are not responsible for the opinion of the corresponding authors. However, believe me, they are valuable references that should be watched carefully, since they are very much connected with the eucalyptus. In this section, we are trying to balance recent and historical publications, those that are helping to build the foundations and the history of the eucalyptus forestry, environment, industrial utilization, and many other areas related to these magic trees.

Online book about biomass for energy (Portuguese)

Biomassa para Energia (Biomass for Energy). A virtual book edited and coordinated by Luis Augusto Barbosa Cortez and Electo Silva Lora. A creation through the State University of Campinas.

Technical articles about Eucalyptus urophylla and E.cloeziana (Portuguese)
Os Germoplasmas dos Eucalyptus urophylla e E.cloeziana no Brasil (The Germoplasms of Eucalyptus urophylla and E.cloeziana in Brazil). Two articles written by Vicente P.G. Moura and published through EMBRAPA Brazil (2003 and 2004)

Online book collection about the forests and their ecosystems (Portuguese)
This is a masterpiece of magnificent books about the forests and their ecological relationships. Edited and published by AFUBRA - The Brazilian Association of Tobacco Producers. These books were written with the support from the Federal University of Santa Maria, with a deep involvement of professors Dr. Mauro Schumacher and Dr. Juarez Hoppe. We have here the books, all in Portuguese, totally available for downloading. Something unique. My strong recommendation to have a look.
A Floresta e a Agua (The Forest and the Water)
A Floresta e o Ar (The Forest and the Air)
A Floresta e o Solo (The Forest and the Soil)
A Floresta e os Animais (The Forest and the Animals)
A Complexidade dos Ecossistemas (The Complexity of the Ecosystems)
Go to visit them at:

Hand-outs about forestry (Portuguese)
It consists of a series of several hand-outs about relevant issues of the forest science: forest pests, tree breeding, forest soils, revitalization of degraded areas, etc. They are brought to you thanks the Federal University of Mato Grosso, through the PET program (Program for Tutorial Education on Forest Engineering).

Glossary on printing technology (Portuguese)
Glossario Grafico da Rossi Tecnologia Grafica ( Glossary on Printing Technology)

Proceedings of a congress about forest genetics (English)
Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding in the Age of Genomics. Event sponsored by IUFRO - International Union of Forest Research Organizations, in 2004, 490 pages

A WWF vision about the forest based industry in the 21st century (English)
The Forest Industry in the 21st Century. A publication by WWF - World Wide Fund for Nature, United Kingdom, about the fulfillment of Agenda 21 by the forest industry. A 24 pages report.

Article about foreign investments is Brazil on the pulp and paper sector and their commitments to environmental sustainability (English)
Does Foreign Direct Investment Work for Sustainable Development? A Case Study of the Brazilian Pulp and Paper Industry. The authors are Sueila dos Santos Rocha and Luciana Togeiro de Almeida. March 2007. 23 pages

A report about forest science and technology in Brazil (Portuguese)
Ciencia e Tecnologia no Setor Florestal Brasileiro (Science and Technology in the Brazilian Forestry Sector). The report was the result of a working group coordinated by IPEF - Institute of Forest Studies and Research. Edited in 2002. 187 pages

A training course on pulp and paper (English)
Multi Media Inspector Training. Pulp and Paper Sector. A basic course about fundamentals of the pulp and paper manufacturing processes. A realization by the TreeO Center from University of Florida. 2005. 43 pages

Hand-outs of applied silviculture (Portuguese)
Silvicultura Aplicada (Applied silviculture). Hand-outs of the Federal University of Santa Maria, coordinated by the professors and forest engineers Dr. Mauro Schumacher, Francine Calil, Hamilton Vogel. Released on 2005. 120 pages

New Zealander virtual book about acacia, cypress and eucalyptus (English)
Special Purpose Timber Species. A joint publication by the New Zealand Ministry of Forestry and the New Zealand Forest Research Institute. 1995. 69 pages

Hand-outs about techniques for forest management (Portuguese)
Tecnicas Quantitativas para a Gestao de Florestas Plantadas (Quantitative Techniques for Planted Forests Management). The author is the professor at ESALQ/USP Dr. Luiz Carlos Estraviz Rodrigues. 2005. 106 pages

A book commenting the growth of the plantation forests and the pulp and paper industry in the South Hemisphere (English)
Pulping the South. Industrial Tree Plantation in the World Paper Economy. Famous and controversial book written by Ricardo Carrere and Larry Lohmann, in 1996 and published with the support from the World Rainforest Movement. 208 pages

A virtual book about pruning the eucalyptus trees (English)
Pruning Eucalyptus. The Biology and Silviculture of Clear Wood Production in Planted Eucalypts. A publication by the RIRDC/Land & Water/Australia, written by Kelvin Montagu, Dean Kearney and Geoff Smith. 2003. 42 pages

A PhD thesis about the competitiveness of the Brazilian pulp industry and the quality of the workers labor (Portuguese)
Globalizacao, Estrategias Gerenciais e Trabalhadores : um Estudo Comparativo da Industria Brasileira de Celulose (Globalization, Management Strategies and Workers: a Comparative Study of the Brazilian Pulp Industry). PhD thesis by Glicia Vieira dos Santos, presented to UNICAMP - State University of Campinas. 2005. 453 pages

A book about plantation forests and sustainability (English)
Paper Farming: the Role of Plantations in the Sustainable Paper Cycle. A report by IIED - International Institute for Environment and Development, as one of the many reports generated during the study "Sustainable Paper Cycle". This was a research supported by the WBCSD - World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The report about plantation forests was written in 1996 by Stephen Bass, Ruth Nussbaum, Hugh Speechly, Elaine Morrison. 132 pages

References on Events and Courses

Forum 2005 ANAVE (Portuguese or English)

A traditional event organized every year by ANAVE, a Brazilian association of the commercial people in the pulp and paper segment. The forum consists of speeches and debates about competitiveness and marketing strategies for pulp and paper products.

2007 TAPPI Papermakers & PIMA International Leadership Conference (English)
An important event organized by two of the most important American associations in the pulp and paper industry. The technical section covered paper machine optimization issues (coordination by TAPPI - The Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry). The management section was very widely covered, coordination by PIMA - Paper Industry Management Association.

2006 IUFRO Forest Plantations Meeting (English)
A meeting organized by IUFRO - International Union of Forest Research Organizations, in Charleston/USA. 2006

Madeira 2006 (Portuguese)
It corresponds to the 3rd Brazilian Congress for the Sustainable Development of the Forest Based Industry and to the Generation of Energy. This event had the support from ABRAF - The Brazilian Association of Planted Forest Producers.

Wood and Cellulose: Building Blocks for Chemicals, Fuels and Advanced Materials (English)
This event happened in the year 2000 in Syracuse/NY, with the coordination of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Seminar Myth and Realities about the Environmental Impacts caused by the Eucalyptus (Portuguese)
Event promoted by the PET - Forest Engineering - Federal University of Mato Grosso. PET is a Program for Tutorial Education developed by the Brazilian Ministry of Education and Culture through its Superior Education Secretary - SESu.

Workshop Eucaliptocultura 2007 (Portuguese)
Event organized by the SIF - Society of Forest Research in Vicosa/Brazil. The speeches were related to eucalyptus pests, diseases, environmental issues, and mineral nutrition.

Online Technical Journals

Here, we are bringing to you a selection of excellent online journals with connection to the eucalyptus. In these journals, you may freely download articles or read the news, without the need of memberships, passwords or payments. The maximum you may need to do is to register yourself. They are journals or article collections at our hands (or eyes), available to all those wondering to read and to learn more about forestry, environment, pulp, paper, woods, and eucalyptus, surely. Please, go the the search tool in each journal, and type "Eucalyptus". Then, have a look in the result. In this way, many times you may find valuable technical material. To the editors of these journals, our most sincere appreciation and thanks. We hope many other journals may join forces to this scientific and technical knowledge chain.

Mari Papel
Mari Papel is a newsletter with information about the pulp, paper and paperboard segments in Latin America. A publication by Latin Press, in Spanish.

Revista Virtual Forestal
A journal and newsletter covering forest issues in Colombia, with versions in three languages: Spanish, English and French.

Industria della Carta
A digital Italian journal about paper, graphics and packaging.

Scientific magazine edited by the IAC- Agronomical Institute of Campinas, strong emphasis on agricultural issues. Articles in Portuguese, with summaries in English.

Produtor Florestal

A digital magazine by Aracruz Celulose oriented to promote the plantation of eucalyptus forests by rural farmers. Articles, techical assistance and news in Portuguese.

Southern Africa Forestry Journal - Southern Hemisphere Forestry Journal
Forestry journal by the Southern African Institute of Forestry ( The content covers scientific and technical articles and general information about forestry, woods, environmental preservation. Edited in English.

Annals of Forest Science
Important source of information about the developments and trends in the research of forestry. Articles in English or French.

Revista Celulosa y Papel
A digital magazine with the support from the Argentinean Association of Pulp and Paper Manufacturers. Articles in Spanish.

Revista Corrugados XXI Online
It is a publication oriented to the paperboard and corrugated container industry. Edited by CAFCCo (Argentinean Council of Corrugated Containers Manufacturers). Written in Spanish.

Floresta e Ambiente
Scientific journal of the Institute of Forestry - Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Articles in Portuguese, with summaries in English.


Here, we are bringing to you a series of links with several very good websites that have strong connection with the eucalyptus. I hope you may visit them, taking advantage of the good technical material they offer at a no cost basis.

AMS - Associacao Mineira de Silvicultura (Brazil)
AMS is the Silviculture Association in the Minas Gerais State. Excellent website, with many information, technical material for downloads, photo gallery, and a lot more.

Laboratory of Forest Products - UTAD - University Tras os Montes and Alto Douro (Portugal)
UTAD is renowned in Portugal as one of the best forest engineering courses in the country. They are also strong in research. The webpage from the Forest Produccts Lab is rich on articles, figures, pictures and it has a very good wood collection section.

IEF - Minas Gerais State Institute of Forestry (Brazil)
IEF is the state entity for promoting and supporting forestry plantation and preservation in Minas Gerais State. This state is the leader in terms of planted area of eucalyptus in Brazil.

IEF/RJ - Rio de Janeiro State Institute of Forestry (Brazil)
IEF/RJ is the government organization in the state of Rio de Janeiro that deals with the legal, policy and fiscalization issues for development and preservation of natural ecosystems and forestry.

RENABIO - National Network on Biomass for Energy Generation (Brazil)
Renabio is an association that provides technical support to the utilization of biomass for energy generation. The website is rich on data, and they have also a technical journal (Biomassa e Energia), with summaries made available for downloading.

GIT Forestry Consulting Blog (Spain)
This is an oustanding webpage (and blog) written and presented by Gustavo Iglesias Trabado. All sections are very rich on information, technical data, pictures and a lot more. Gustavo is definitively a friend of the eucalyptus. He is also promoting them through the web. In a near future, Gustavo, as a special kindness from his side, is to help me in our Eucalyptus Newsletter, sending euca-news from Europe.

LYPTUS - Noble Wood from the Eucalyptus (Brazil)
Website describing the utilization of Lyptus, the commercial brand of high-valued wood products made from the eucalyptus wood. This wood is oriented to the manufacture of furniture, pannels, houses, etc. The website has sections in Portuguese, English, Spanish and Italian.

Professor Omar Daniel's Website - Federal University of the Grande Dourados - MS (Brazil)
Professor Omar Daniel makes available to his students and readers an enormous amount of technical information about the silviculture, environmental issues and agroforestry with the eucalyptus. His technical production is very impressive. The page deserves a visit. There are many articles and hand-outs for downloading.

"A to Z of Paper" in Bilt Paper website - Ballarpur Industries Limited (India)
Very good and helpful website provided by BILT Paper about production and properties of paper.

YouTube Video about Paper Manufacturing (English)
A basic video describing the paper manufacturing, when visiting a Bowater mill in USA.

Giant Trees Consulting Committee - Tasmania (Australia)
An interesting website with the purpose to show, to promote and to preserve the giant eucalyptus trees that are still available in Tasmania. These fantastic giant trees were subject of a section in the Eucalyptus Newsletter number 02.
See at:

Maderas Argentinas (Argentina)
It is a webpage created by Silvia Monteoliva and Stella Maris Rivera. The most important woods from Argentina are introduced to readers, with several useful sections and links.

Professor Edson Luiz Furtado's Website about Forest Diseases - UNESP - Botucatu (Brazil)
This website brings several speeches, articles, technical orientation and pictures showing the most important eucalyptus diseases. The site is very helpul to eucalyptus planters, as an initial step for diagnosing diseases.

Professor Umberto Klock 's Webpage about Wood Chemistry and Pulp and Paper Technology - UFPr (Brazil)
It is really impressive Umberto Klock's talent and hard-working. The website offers articles, hand-outs, literature, links and many illustrations. Go to visit the sections to learn about wood quality, wood chemistry and pulp and paper science and technologies.

Eucalyptus Photo Gallery

Today, the number of people wondering to know more about the eucalyptus is huge and growing. These trees and the products they provide to society are part of ordinary people daily life: paper, furniture, wood structures, housing, food, packaging, honey, essential oils, pharmaceuticals, detergents, candies, etc. Curiously, the eucalyptus are probably the species that deserve the greater percentage of papers being written about a single type of tree. There are people making good comments, and there are others writing with criticism. However, there people attacking them, without never have seen an eucalyptus tree or forest. These forests are the suppliers of all these goods to be used by society in search of better life quality and happiness. For these reasons, and because many requests about euca-photos, I decided to bring to your knowledge a good number of websites showing photos of the eucalyptus trees, flowers, fruits, seeds, forests, and ecosystems. There, you may see the eucalyptus in the magnitude they deserve. You may observe individual trees, planted forests, mosaics of plantations and natural ecosystems, wood, fibers, papers, wonderful flowers, associated fauna and flora, etc.

First, as a preference to my work, I recommend you to visit my own photo gallery. There are more than 2,000 photos, all available to your utilization. They are available in all sections and in a special photo gallery in my two websites and

Another simple way to find eucalyptus pictures is through, searching images. You are to find thousands, but you'll be demanded to visit the webpages where they are posted. Don't forget that some of them are protected by author's rights.

Please, see the results for some simple searches at Google Images:

Some associations, companies, universities and blogs are used to have phototeks. For this fact, there are hundreds of opportunities to meet the eucalyptus visiting them.

Some of the most relevant phototeks are presented for your visit. Go to visit them with the spirit of someone entering in a forest:

Celso Foelkel's Photo Gallery - Brazil

Aracruz Celulose Photo Gallery - Brazil

Photo Gallery - CORMA del Bio Bio - Corporacion Chilena de la Madera - Chile

Images of the Australian National Botanic Gardens - Australian National Herbarium - Australia

Images of the Centre for Biodiversity Research - Australia

Online Enciclopedia WikiMedia Commons

ASGAP - Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants - Australia

Fazenda Cintra - Brazil

Photo Gallery - AMS - Associacao Mineira de Silvicultura - Brazil

Dendrological Plant Image Gallery - Gerd Seehawer's images website - Germany

Photo Bank - Bahia Pulp - Brazil

Photo Gallery - Lwarcel - Brazil

Image Bank of Fotosearch (a virtual company that sells images in the web)

Trekearth Images

Photo Album "Trees- Eucalyptus, an Australian Tree" by Galit at

Giant Trees Photo Gallery


A Field Guide to the Eucalyptus and Plantation Forest Trees

This virtual booklet was created with the mission to bring good temper to our forestry science. We have been inspired by a Portuguese book written and published about 20 years ago. Unfortunately, this masterpiece is no longer available for purchasing. Only some privileged people have the honor to have it. For this reason, we decided to create our own version, based on our assumptions. My talented daughters, Alessandra and Ester did the drawings (Alessandra) and the edition (Ester). With a lot of high spirits, some commercial trees used in plantations are introduced to you. The main phenotypic features are associated to the species names, simple correlations to please you.

See and enjoy:

The Friends of the Eucalyptus

Dr. Laercio Couto

Dr. Laercio Couto is one of the great names in the areas of silviculture, agroforestry and biomass for energy in Brazil. He is renowned both nationally and internationally for his papers, work and consulting services in these fields of knowledge.

Professor Laercio, as he likes to be called, was born in April 1945 in a small town in the Minas Gerais state/Brazil: Tocantins. He has a double origin. His father Mr. Argemiro Couto is from a Portuguese family and his mother Mrs. Maria Soares Queiroz Couto descends from the Coroados indigenous people. He was the first born child in a family of seven boys and two girls. His father was carpenter, and this may be the reason for Laercio's interest to the woods and to the native forests, sources of the woods when he was a kid. From his mother side, he gained the joy for nature, fauna, flora. All these were significant factors in the decision to study forestry, surely.

Laercio spent his childhood and teenaging in Tocantins, in a time there were no computers, television sets, or video games for playing. He was very active on studying, playing soccer, collecting things, and in religion. This natural life style gave him opportunities to develop his values for Nature and friendship.

In 1964, he started his studies at the Escola Superior de Florestas - Rural University of Minas Gerais State, joining hands to other 19 students. It was the first group of students in Brazil having classes for the just created career: forest engineering. He got his degree in 1967, and receive two job offers: one to work in CEPLAC, Bahia, with the famous Dr. Paulo Alvim, and another to work in a private company Prado & Cunha Ltd, at the town of Buri, Sao Paulo. His option was going to Buri, to dedicate his just gained knowledge in practical issues. There, he was able to implement nurseries, pine plantations, and to see the results of his work. The pine plantations were designated to the production of resin and timber. In Buri, he made a great number of friends, and he became very popular because he was one of the important players in the local soccer team: Bandeirantes Futebol Clube. In 1970, he got married with Mrs. Maria Jose Margarido Fonseca, also known as Fia. They had three kids: one son and two daughters.

In 1972, he left Buri and moved to Itarare, to work again with pines to PLANTAR. In 1974, it was the time to move to Bahia, still with PLANTAR, and to develop pine and coconut plantations over there. After finishing the work in Bahia, he joined the Jari project, working in forestation projects with Pinus and Gmelina arborea. In a short period of time, his achievements and enthusiasm deserved an invitation from Professor Mauro Silva Reis to join SIF - The Society of Forest Research, an organization associated with the UFV - Federal University of Vicosa. In 1975, he started again his work in Vicosa, which lasts a long period in his career. At the same year, he was accepted for working to the Master of Science degree in forestry, at the same university. He was also invited to work as assistant professor in forest management by Professor Antonio Bartolomeu do Vale, his advising professor. In 1977, he finished the master course studies, with a thesis about the influence of spacing in the initial growth of Eucalyptus plantations. These were the first contacts with the just gained new friend: the eucalyptus. From Vicosa, he left far away to Canada, for PhD studies at the University of Toronto. His adviser professor was Dr. Jagdish Chandra Nautiyal, a notorious forest economist. His PhD thesis was defended in December 1982, and it had as subject "the timber production function of Eucalyptus grandis in Brazil". The partnership with the Eucalyptus was strongly developed. There was no possible return.

When back from Canada, and returning to his educational position at UFV, Laercio dedicated his efforts to develop 3 fundamental areas of knowledge: agroforestry, applied silviculture and forest planning/management. As a professor of agroforestry in the graduate course, he started to advise students in this area. Along his long career as professor, he was able to advise 26 M.Sc. and Ph.D. students, the great majority with theses involving the Eucalyptus as the forest component in agroforestry systems.

In 1989, he achieved the position of head of the UFV Forest Department, and the Administrative Directory of SIF ( He worked hard to raise the number of members in the SIF organization, being very successful. In 1993, he went to USA for a 18 months pos-doctoral period at Colorado State University. His counterpart was Professor David Ray Betters. Both were active in developing partnerships between UFV and CSU, specially in short term interchanges of professors and researchers for mutual benefits. From the studies developed along this partnership, Laercio could write over 20 papers, many speeches, most of all related with silviculture and agroforestry of short rotation Eucalyptus plantations. He had several papers with Dr. Lynn L. Wright, a widely known researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory – ORNL. This laboratory had financial support from the Department of Energy – DOE, United States of America. He believes that one of the most important papers he has written comes from that time: a publication about the technical, social and environmental impacts of the short rotation Eucalyptus plantation forests.

In 1994, he started a consulting and technical support service to Gutchess International Incorporated – GII. The aim was to establish a sawmill to process Eucalyptus wood, manufacturing high-added value solid products from this wood. The result of this work was the joint venture between GII and Aracruz Celulose to build a new company - Aracruz Produtos Solidos de Madeira - still existing in the town of Posto da Mata, south of Bahia. Today, the sawmill is owned by Weyerhaeuser and Aracruz. The product is known as LYPTUS, a new concept of noble wood being exported to USA and Europe, and to supply domestic market, either.

From 1996 onwards, he started strong move in direction of associations and cooperative organizations: Scientific Director at SIF (, President of Centro Mineiro para Conservacao da Natureza – CMCN (Minas Gerais Center for Nature Conservation), President of Centro Brasileiro para Conservacao da Natureza e Desenvolvimento Sustentavel – CBCN - Brazilian Center for Nature Conservation and Sustainable Development (; President of SBAG - Sociedade Brasileira de Agrossilvicultura - Brazilian Society of Agroforestry (, etc.

In 2002, he was designed as Brazilian Team Leader in the Task 30 - IEA Bioenergy (, by the Brazilian Ministry of Mining and Energy. An special event was organized in Belo Horizonte to cover such issues
( He was also requested to create and to become president of the Renabio - Rede Nacional de Biomassa para Energia – Brazilian Network for the Use of Biomass for Energy Generation (, with headquarters in Vicosa.

Laercio has retired as professor some few years ago, but he continues dedicated to his former students, former co-workers, and all his amazing network of friends. Today, he is living in the city of Itu/SP/Brazil with his family. His son Luciano, also a forest engineer, also lives in Itu. Laercio’s daughters (Juliana and Michelle) are also forest engineers. This means a family of forest engineers, without any pressure coming from daddy, as stated by Laercio.

Today, Dr. Laercio Couto is professor in several Brazilian and international universities (Mato Grosso, Para, Toronto). He acts very strongly at Renabio, SBAG, CBCN, and he has several consulting services to private companies and municipalities.

Having a look back to his career, Laercio is very proud to have had the chance to develop agroforestry, short rotation biomass Eucalyptus forest studies, and for the deep involvement with the creation of the Aracruz sawmill in Bahia. He considers that this sawmill was the starting up of the utilization of Eucalyptus wood for solid products in a sophisticated line of products to the society and for the generation of new job positions in Brazil.

Today, Laercio is trying to combine agroforestry with the production of biomass of Eucalyptus, giving his contribution to other sustainable activities to his country. His dedication to develop citizenship among his students and sustainable alternatives to society are outstanding. Laercio also values his network of friends, co-workers, and all the enormous number of friends he was able to acquire along his life.

Professor Laercio Couto main areas of expertise are the following:
• agroforestry;
• short rotation crops for energy - biomass;
• preservation of Nature and sustainable development;
• general and applied silviculture.

For a better understanding of all Laercio's technical papers, educational activities, and scientific production, please, visit the following links:

Lattes platform of scientists and research groups - CNPQ/Brazil

Laercio Biography in some websites:

The intense involvement that has always happened in his professional life enabled Laercio to have over 100 published papers, and 26 graduate students under his guidance and advising. Considering also the books, book chapters, hand-outs, speeches, case studies, consulting reports, and a lot more, his technical production is definitively very impressive. Laercio, it is a honor to be your friend and to have had the opportunity to disclose you professional career in our section "The Friends of the Eucalyptus". Our recognition and admiration for everything you have done in favor of our common friends, the eucalyptus.
Please, spend a time visiting the large list of papers that have been originated to Mankind thanks to Laercio Couto studies, determination and intelligence. Most of the papers are in Portuguese, some in Spanish or English. Theses and scientific papers have always a summary in English.

Publications on Agroforestry

Overview of agroforestry practices in Central Brazil. W.A.Geyer; F.Dube; L.Couto. 7th Biennial Conference on Agroforestry in North America. p: 101-102/323. (2001)

Overview of agroforestry practices in southeastern Brazil. W.A.Geyer; F.Dube; L.Couto. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science Volume 107. (2004)

Economics of a commercial alley cropping system in Central Brazil. F.Dube; W.A.Geyer; L.Couto. 7th Biennial Conference on Agroforestry in North America. p: 153 - 157. (2001)

Carbon fixation in an agrosilvipastoral system with eucalypt in the Cerrado Region of Minas Gerais, Brazil. A.A.Tsukamoto Filho; L.Couto, J.C.L.Neves. First Congress of Agroforestry. p. 213. (2004)

Rebuilding degraded ecosystems: a sustainable community forestry approach. C.A.A.S.Ribeiro; L.Couto. XI World Forestry Congress. (1997)

Una vision general de sistemas silvopastoriles y agrosilvopastoriles con eucalipto en Brasil. O.Daniel; L.Couto. FAO Conference on "Agroforesteria para la produccion animal en Latinoamerica" . (1998)

Aspectos economicos de los sistemas agrosilvopastoriles con Eucalyptus sp. en el sudeste de Brazil. F.Dube; L.Couto; R.Garcia; G.A.A.Araujo; H.G.Leite; M.C.Silva. (1999)

Sistemas agroflorestais com eucalipto no Brasil: uma visao geral. L.Couto; O.Daniel; R.Garcia; W.Bowers; F.Dube. SIF Documents. 2 pp. (1998)

Agrossilvicultura: alternativa para o desenvolvimento regional. R.S.Vale. I Agrinvest. PowerPoint presentation: 46 slides. (2005)

Estudos tecnicos e economicos de sistemas agroflorestais com Eucalyptus spp. no noroeste do estado de Minas Gerais: o caso da Companhia Mineira de Metais. F.Dube. Master Thesis UFV. 159 pp. (1999),f.pdf

O desenvolvimento sustentavel da agricultura no cerrado brasileiro. R.P.Marouelli. 64 pp. (2003)

Definicao de indicadores de sustentabilidade para sistemas agroflorestais. O.Daniel. PhD Thesis UFV. 123 pp. (2000) (Full text) (Summary)

Sustentabilidade em sistemas agroflorestais: indicadores socioeconomicos. O.Daniel; L.Couto: E.Silva; C.A.M.Passos; I.Jucksch; R.Garcia. Ciencia Florestal 10(1): 159-175. (2000)

Proposta de um conjunto minimo de indicadores biofisicos para o monitoramento da sustentabilidade em sistemas agroflorestais. O.Daniel; L.Couto; E.Silva; C.A.M.Passos; R.Garcia; I.Jucksch. Cerne 7(1): 42 - 55. (2001)

Proposta para padronizacao da terminologia empregada em sistemas agroflorestais no Brasil. O.Daniel; L.Couto; R.Garcia; C.A.M.Passos. Revista Arvore 23(3): 367 - 370. (1999)

Revegetacao de area de caulim na Zona da Mata, em Minas Gerais: um estudo de caso. M.Vidal. Master Thesis UFV. 86 pp. (2001),m.pdf

Fixacao de carbono em um sistema agroflorestal com eucalipto na Regiao do Cerrado de Minas Gerais. A.A.Tsukamoto Filho. PhD Thesis UFV. 111 pp. (2003),aa.pdf

Agrossilvicultura com eucalipto como alternativa para o desenvolvimento sustentavel da Zona da Mata de Minas Gerais. R.S.Vale. PhD Thesis UFV. 115 pp. (2004),rs.pdf

Sistemas agroflorestais: uma contribuicao para a conservacao dos recursos naturais na Zona da Mata de Minas Gerais. F.S.Franco. PhD Thesis UFV. 160 pp. (2000),fs.pdf

Sistemas agroflorestais como alternativas sustentaveis a recuperacao de pastagens degradadas. O.Daniel; L.Couto; A.C.T.Vitorino. Symposium "Sustentabilidade da Pecuaria de Leite no Brasil". p: 151 - 170. (1999)

Fatores limitantes ao crescimento do capim Tanzania em um sistema agrossilvipastoril com eucalipto, na Regiao dos Cerrados de Minas Gerais. C.M.S.Andrade; R.Garcia; L.Couto; O.G.Pereira. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia 30(4): 1178 - 1185. (2001)

Desempenho de seis gramineas solteiras ou consorciadas com o Stylosanthes guianensis cv. mineirao e eucalipto em sistema silvipastorial. C.M.S.Andrade; R.Garcia; L.Couto; O.G.Pereira; A.L.Souza. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia 32(6): 1845 - 1850. (2003)

Producao forrageira de gramineas cultivadas sob luminosidade reduzida. C.R.T.Castro; R.Garcia; M.M.Carvalho; L.Couto. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia 28(5): 919 - 927. (1999)

Atividade microbiana do solo em sistemas agroflorestais, monoculturas, mata natural e area desmatada. S.L.Assis Jr.; J.C.Zanuncio; M.C.M.Kasuya; L.Couto; R.C.N.Melido. Revista Arvore 27(11): 35 - 41. (2003)

Rendimento animal e de pastagem de inverno em sistema silvipastoril com eucalipto no ano de estabelecimento. J.L.S.Silva; J.C.Saibro, R.Garcia; L.Couto. In: "Manejo de pastagens e producao animal". p. 149

Componentes de um sistema silvipastoril constituido de Eucalyptus saligna e pastagens cultivada e nativa no Rio Grande do Sul. J.L.S.Silva; J.C.Saibro; R.Garcia;. L.Couto. In: "Manejo de pastagens e producao animal". p. 151

Quantificacao de erosao em sistemas agroflorestais e convencionais na Zona da Mata de Minas Gerais. F.S.Franco; L.Couto; A.F.Carvalho; I.Jucksch; E.I.Fernandes Filho; E.Silva; J.A.A.Meira Neto. Revista Arvore 26(6): 751 - 760. (2002)

Publications about Biomass Generation for Energy in Short Rotation Forests

Short-rotation eucalypt plantations in Brazil: social and environmental issues. L.Couto; D.R.Betters. (1995)

Eucalypt based agroforestry systems as an alternative to produce biomass for energy in Brazil. L.Couto; M.D.Muller; D.C.Barcellos; M.M.F.Couto. In: Biomass and bioenergy production for economic and environmental benefits". Short Rotation Wood Crops Operation Working Group. p: 22-22. (2004)

Large scale short rotation eucalypt plantations for energy in Brazil: an overview. L.Couto; D.Calais; M.Muller; D.C.Barcellos; M.M.F.C.Araújo. Workshop on Sustainable Biomass Production for the World Market. PowerPoint presentation: 32 slides. (2005)

Report on bionergy in Brazil. D.G.Pinatti; L.Couto; A.G.Soares; C.A.Vieira; R.A.Conte. 22 pp. (Undated)

Short rotation crops for bioenergy systems: 2007 - 2009. T.Verwijst; G.Berndes. PowerPoint presentation: 12 slides. (Undated)

Short rotation crops with eucalypts in Brazil. L.Couto; I.Nicholas; M.D.Muller; D.C.Barcellos. 3 pp. (2003)

Florestas plantadas para energia: aspectos tecnicos, socio-economicos e ambientais. L.Couto; M.D.Muller; A.A.Tsukamoto Filho. 13 pp. (Undated)

Florestas plantadas para energia: aspectos tecnicos, socio-economicos e ambientais. L.Couto; M.D.Muller; A.A.Tsukamoto Filho. Powerpoint presentation: 21 pp. (2002)

Producao de madeira para geracao de energia eletrica numa plantacao clonal de eucalipto em Itamarandiba/MG. M.D.Muller. PhD Thesis UFV. 108 pp. (2005),md.pdf

Florestas energeticas no Brasil. L.Couto; M.D.Muller. In: "Biomassa para energia", an online book coordinated by L.A.B.Cortez; E.S.Lora. (Undated)

Sustentabilidade para geracao e uso de energia no Brasil: os proximos 20 anos. UNICAMP. (2002) (Full text - 38 pp.) (Roundtable summary - 2 pp.)

Producao de biodiesel a partir de sistemas agroflorestais em Vazante, Minas Gerais. A.V.Barros. PhD Thesis UFRA. 140 pp. (2005)

Producao de "pellets" de madeira: o caso da Bio Energy no Espirito Santo. L.Couto; M.D.Muller; A.G.Silva Jr.; L.J.N.Conde. Biomassa e Energia 1(1): 45 - 52. (2004)

Acao de prospeccao tecnologica em energia. FINEP/CGEE. 32 pp. (2003)

Vias de valoracao energetica da biomassa. L.C.Couto; L.Couto; L.F.Watzlawick; D.Camara. Biomassa e Energia 1(1): 71 - 92. (2004)

Publications about Applied Silviculture and Agriculture

Emprego de um modelo de crescimento e producao para determinacao da rotacao em povoamentos de eucaliptos. R.R.Resende; A.B.Vale; T.S.Soares; M.C.Silva; L.Couto; R.S.Vale. Revista Arvore 28(2): 219 - 225. (2004)

Efeitos do sombreamento e tipos de suportes para fertil-pot na producao de mudas de Eucalyptus grandis. J.M.Gomes, R.M.Brandi; L.Couto; N.F.Barros. Revista Floresta 10(1): 24 - 27. (1979)

Parametros morfologicos na avaliacao de qualidade de mudas de Eucalyptus grandis. J.M.Gomes; L.Couto; H.G.Leite; A.Xavier; S.L.R.Garcia. Revista Arvore 26(6): 655 - 664. (2002)

Crescimento de mudas de Eucalyptus grandis em diferentes tamanhos de tubetes e fertilizacao NPK. J.M.Gomes; L.Couto; H.G.Leite; A.Xavier; S.L.R. Garcia. Revista Arvore 27(2): 113 - 127. (2003)

Reuso de agua para irrigacao. C.C.Bernardi. Course Monograph - FGV/ Ecobusiness School. 63 pp. (2003)

A importancia da agricultura irrigada para o desenvolvimento da regiao nordeste do Brasil. B.C.L.B.Heinze. Course Monograph - FGV/ Ecobusiness School. 70 pp. (2002)

Modelagem e avaliacao economica de plantacoes de eucaliptos submetidas a desbastes. A.N.Dias. Master Thesis UFV. 82 pp. (2000),an-m.pdf

Emprego de um modelo de crescimento e producao em povoamentos desbastados de eucalipto. A.N.Dias; H.G.Leite; J.C.C.Campos; L.Couto; A.F.Carvalho. Revista Arvore 29(5): 731 - 739. (2005)

Determinacao da idade tecnica de desbaste em plantacoes de eucalipto utilizando o metodo dos ingressos percentuais. G.S.Nogueira; H.G.Leite; J.C.C.Campos; A.L.Souza; L.Couto. Scientia Forestalis 59: 51 - 59. (2001)

Resistencia intra-específica de eucaliptos a formigas cortadeiras. D.L.Q.Santana; L.Couto. Boletim de Pesquisa Florestal 20: 13 - 21. (1990)

Efeito da exploracao florestal seletiva em uma floresta estacional semidecidual. S.S.Martins; L.Couto; C.C.Machado; A.L.Souza. Revista Arvore 27(1): 65 - 70. (2003)

Simulacao e comparacao economica das operacoes de reforma, adensamento e interplantio em povoamentos de eucaliptos, com utilizacao do sistema ManFlor: um estudo de caso. A.J.Oliveira; L.Couto. IPEF 34: 57 - 61. (1986)

Books or Book Chapters

Cultivation and production of eucalypts in South America: with special reference to the leaf oils. Chapter in the book "Eucalyptus: the genus Eucalyptus", an online book by J.J.W.Coppen

Cultivo e resinagem de Pinus. L.Couto. Edited by CPT/Vicosa

Cedro-australiano: cultivo e utilizacao. A.L.Pinheiro; J.L.Lani; L.Couto. Edited by CPT/Vicosa

Technical mini-article by Celso Foelkel
Eucalyptus planted forests and water consumption

The consumption of water by the eucalyptus plantation forests has always been a controversial issue, in spite of the fact we have an enormous number of scientific articles in the literature. Today, almost all the leading forest-based companies have experimental micro-watersheds (or catchments) for monitoring water quality and consumption by these forests. These micro-watersheds are used also to provide information for the better forestry planning and operations in the area. It's huge the amount of information we have available in the literature. They bring data on streamflows, surface run-offs, evapotranspiration, soil infiltration of the water, etc. The majority of the papers indicates that the evapotranspiration in eucalyptus plantations are rather similar to those measured in natural forests and for agricultural crops. There are some publications indicating that the water consumption and depletion by eucalyptus plantation forests are slightly higher than those observed for pastures, cerrado vegetation or savanna. This phenomenon is being called "plantation effect". These differences are perfectly possible to be well managed through adequate forest planning and management, silvicultural practices and design of the eco-forest complex. Ahead, we are to deeper discuss this point. Despite the available knowledge and the use of technologies to minimize the impacts of the plantation forests on the environment, we are not being very successful in informing this to society. In such cases, worries and doubts persist. In part, the way to inform and to transmit these informations is being very much academic, not so clear to most of citizens. There are excellent scientific articles proving that the eucalyptus plantations do not harm or exhaust the water reserves in aquifers or the groundwater reservoirs. However, there are also contestants, disclosing exactly the papers that shows slightly higher water depletion and reduced run-off due to the above mentioned "plantation effect". After all, we have a great diversity of situations, and they need to be carefully separated and understood. We have situations that may pose risks, and we have confortable situations, at no risk to the water in the catchment. What are not advised to do is to defend or to attack the plantations only based on the results of the extreme cases, either favorable or the opposite. For this reason, my mini-article is to bring to you important points to be understood about this hydrological issue. It is not a piece for fully clarification to readers, but my purpose is, at least, to bring some key points to the arena of debates. In a near future, I intend to write a more comprehensive text, as a chapter in our Eucalyptus Online Book.

I'll concentrate my discussions in this mini-article by segments, and I'm calling them as key points. They are numbered from 01 to 20, a good number of reflections.

Key point number 01: The inappropriate utilization of the water resources by society has been a common thing along Mankind history in Earth. Agriculture, forestry, pastures, our crazy cities, we have all used the hydrological resources in an intense way, without caring to the their health, and without preventing their deterioration. The result is that, after centuries of misuse, our watersheds are damaged, overloaded, endangered, and fragilized. This is valid for both water flows and water qualities. Independently the action of other higher level effects (global warning, climate effects, etc), the right is that we have damaged our natural water resources, and we are being requested to find solutions to this. There are several cases in many countries where the use of the water is conflicting due to the reduced offer and worse quality.

Key point number 02: The same human beings who have used and degraded these resources are now worried about this potential exhaustion and the consequences. We, as society, are now willing to revitalize and to work to recover these natural resources. This is very good to all of us. Based on wisdom, scientific knowledge, and cultural heritage we may find ways to obtain the needs to our society, and to preserve the natural resources. There are good indications that we may fulfill the sustainability requirements to have preserved resources and to attain society happiness. What we definitively need is to find the procedures to obtain a possible, productive and continuous sustainability.

Key point number 03: The plantation of forests is a large scale activity. Any operation that has this level of magnitude may pose risks and impacts to the soil, water, fauna, flora, and to humans. Those who plant forests are demanded to know the magnitude, the intensity, the frequency, and the direction of these impacts. Thus, they may minimize the negative impacts and to maximize the positive ones. An eucalyptus plantation forest may have important impacts to the hydrological resources, in case the planning and the operations are executed with no care, and without the required preventive measures. We have the knowledge, and the technologies. What we need is to use them in the right way, and to continuously improve then. The use of fire as an operational tool; the deforestation of natural resources; the use of the soil with no care, favoring erosion; the planting of eucalyptus in riparian zones, all these inconvenient and inappropriate operations were used in the past. They were also common in agricultural crops and in pasture formation. Today, all they are forbidden by law. The forest engineers and managers also know that they are dangerous to the health of the own planted forest. The watershed suffers tremendous impacts when the operations are not respectful to the environmental issues. The forest management, based on science and monitoring, has developed measures to plant forests with minimum environmental impacts to soil, water, air, fauna and flora. All this may be watched in the complex eco-forest mosaic being managed now-a-days. There is a respect to the natural ecosystems: they are permanently preserved (riparian forests, swamps, natural lakes, etc). The creation of natural reserves scattered with the plantations cooperates to a sounder and healthier environment. The forest certification that is a today's normal use in the leading forest companies, is a proof that the companies are in compliance with the forest and environmental laws, that they evaluate the environmental impacts and work for minimizing the negative ones, that they are audited by third parties, and that they are open to the dialogue with the interested parties. Our legislation is also very strict. This severity in the law is based in scientific knowledge, and in the principles of prevention and precaution.

Key point number 04: The production of wood by the eucalyptus planted forests offers raw materials to society to manufacture the goods people need to be happy: paper, charcoal, firewood, furniture, houses, honey, essential oils, etc. When these products are manufactured using the resources of the planted forests, we are preserving the natural resources from being exhausted. The extractive removal of natural forest and environmental resources has found a sustainable alternative: the generation of these resources by planting them. When doing this, we are practicing a renewable activity, very helpful to sustainability. This new plantation based forest model is recent, for this reason the world area of plantation forests is still not large. We are still improving this model, but the results are exciting. There is a lot of new knowledge, and we also understand the points that are demanding for improvements.

Key point number 05: We are sure that the eucalyptus plantations offer risks and that they have impacts to the environment. These impacts may have either high or low magnitude, and this is very dependent on the way the plantations are implemented and managed. What is usual is that some people place magnifying lens to the positive points of the plantations (generation of wealth, labor, raw materials, etc), and other people to the negative ones. The real truth is in general located in a point that is between two extreme positions. We cannot say that we have no impacts to the environment; and we should also not say that the planted forests are malignant, and for this reason, banished as a source of goods to society. Today, we need to find ways, through the dialogue, scientific knowledge, legislation, monitoring, to do the plantation forest activity continuously better. To produce raw materials and goods to the society is fair, but to do this in a sustainable and eco-efficient way is much better.

Key point number 06: When talking about the eucalyptus plantation forests, we shall not concentrate our look only to the area planted with eucalyptus. What we definitively have is a well-balanced mosaic of Nature and productive forest. This eco-forest mosaic has in general from 50 to 65% of planted eucalyptus trees in the overall area. The remaining area are preserved natural resources, managed as such. Something very nice and beautiful to have a look. A simple trekking or a vision from a helicopter gives all the idea about this fantastic ecosystem.

Key point number 07: When we talk about water consumption by the eucalyptus trees, we may inadvertently think on thick roots, absorbing and pumping water from the deep region of the soils. We may imagine that this water will be lost to the atmosphere as transpiration, and this is no good. There is a great lack of knowledge by the regular citizens about the physiological and morphological issues of the eucalyptus planted forests. People do not know how the water is absorbed, transported, transpired and used by the trees. There is also an enormous ignorance about the hydrological balances in the plantations, and a lack of understanding of important physiological phenomena as: photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration, evaporation and evapotranspiration. Forest science needs to know all this, and also the dynamics of the water in the soil, in the surface of the soil, and in the soil depth (groundwater). Again, we need better ways to transfer this type of basic and important knowledge to the communities having interaction and relationships with the eucalyptus plantations.

Key point number 08: We need to know that the eucalyptus forests use the trees canopies (or crown) for 3 main physiological purposes: photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration. The photosynthesis consists in the production of organic matter and oxygen by the forest, sequestering carbon dioxide from atmosphere. All of these 3 operations are performed very intensively by the leaves through some small openings or pores they have: the stomata. Through the stomata the gases from the plant and from the atmosphere are inter-exchanged. Carbon dioxide is absorbed and oxygen and transpired water are released. More leaves a plant has, more it is able to perform all these physiology’s. There is an indicator of the leaf richness in a forest or a crop. It is called the Leaf Area Index - LAI. The LAI consists in the ratio between the total leaf area of the forest and the area of land it covers. LAI is expressed by m² of leaves by m² of land. In the case of eucalyptus, it varies from 1.5 to 4. For high quality pastures and sugar cane, for example, the values varies from 3 to 8. A degraded pasture has fewer leaves and the soil is exposed in high percentage. The LAI for such degraded pastures goes from 0.5 to 1.0. Natural forests, including the riparian forests, also have many leaves. They have more biodiversity, with plants growing in different height levels (understorey plants). The result is that the natural forests also perform photosynthesis and transpiration in an intense way. However, the production of wood is not that high, because these forests do not have the orientation to build wood in the trunk, as it occurs in the plantation forests. The final conclusion of this is simple: good quality pastures, natural forests, riparian forests, and agricultural crops, all have a intense consumption of water from the soil. They all are living beings, and living beings need water, source of life.

Key point number 09: There is a plant or tree feature always forgotten. All plants, even the eucalyptus, have wise mechanisms to control the opening and closure of the stomata. They do not leave the stomata open all day or night along. This means that they have control on the exchange of gases. Stomata operation is controlled as a function of water availability in soils, canopy temperatures and winds intensity. In hot days, the leaves close the stomata. The same when wind is very strong. When water is scarce to the thin roots, the stomata are also closed. The majority of the thin roots are located in the initial soil profile, about 30 cm deep, maximum. This means that the eucalyptus trees need water in the soil surface, where they capture the nutrients and the required moisture to their lives. They are not used to go too deep to absorb water. Moreover, the young eucalyptus forests, as they are cultivated in Brazil, they don't have very deep roots, most are located in a depth of 3.0 meters. Even the deeper roots, when they are found, they don't go further than 10 meters from the soil surface. As far the groundwater level or any aquifer be located below this level, there is no risk involved. The eucalyptus have a very good control on the stomata open/close system. They don't like to discard good water, because they know that if water is scarce, they will suffer.

Key point number 10: The transpiration of the plants, either eucalyptus forests, or any other plant, is a physiological activity very important. In case the plants were unable to transpire, our life in Earth would be very different, and sadder. Transpiration purifies the water, and the water released to the atmosphere is pure. This water will be given back to the land as pure rain. Without transpiration, the soils would be wet, the land a swamp. The lack of oxygen in the soils would be a reality, most of the soils would have anaerobiosis development. Definitively, another world would be offered to Mankind for living.

Key point number 11: All plants through water to atmosphere by transpiration, this is an unquestionable reality. On the other hand, the soils lose water to the air by evaporation. The sum of the water lost by plants via transpiration and by soil via evaporation is called evapotranspiration. When the water from rain falls over an agricultural crop or over an eucalyptus plantation forest, it has several ways to follow: a part infiltrates the soil; another part wets the plants, and after, evaporates to the air, without reaching the soil ("canopy interception" phenomenon); another part runs away over the surface of the soil ("surface run-off"), removing sediments, carbon and nutrients from the soil. In this last situation, we are losing water and richness from our area. Water in severe run-offs is very deleterious. It goes straight to the rivers, overloading them with water and sediments, resulting in flooding, shoaling and disasters. We all know the important role the forests have to prevent erosion and to improve the river hydrological balances. The forests prevent the soil desegregation due to the impact of the rain drops. They also filter the water; they reduce the speed of the surface run-off; they have an accumulation of dead leaves, bark and branches in the soil to retain moisture at the soil surface, where most of soil biology exists. They prevent erosion, shoaling of rivers, and they help the regulation of river flows along the seasons. It is a fantastic job, don't you think so? The forests in the top of the mountains, and the gallery forests or riparian zones are essential to the revitalization of the watersheds. Even considering that they consume water by transpiration, their role to protect the watershed more than compensates this consumption. Eucalyptus plantation forests have exactly the same action as the gallery forests and natural forests. Thus, they also cooperate to prevent erosion, and to revitalize the watersheds. We shall not waste this amazing ability for protection the soils and hydrological cycles that the forests have: both planted and natural forests play similar role.

Key point number 12: The water, when reaches the groundwater streams and/or aquifers, enlarges the water bank in these reservoirs. However, to reach them, the water is demanded to penetrate or to infiltrate into the soil. The surface resistance of the soil needs to be broken. The layer of organic matter residues in the soil surface helps this task. It improves the soil structure and porosity. In case the soil is compacted, with poor permeability, the rain water leaves the area as stormwater, torrential run-offs, taking soil richness out of the area. When the soil is capable to receive the water, it absorbs water with avidity. There is a lot of room in the soil to be filled with water. Light rains may wet the trees, the crown, the canopy, the trunk, but may not reach the soil. Thus, there is no extra water to go inside the soil or to run over the land surface. They are unable to enrich the groundwater reservoirs. The forests are very helpful in case of heavy or long term rains. In these cases, the water reaches the soil, it infiltrates, and the groundwater bank is refilled. Once more, this role is fulfilled both by the natural forests and by the eucalyptus plantation forests. Water infiltration in the forest soils is much more pronounced than in pastures or in light vegetation landscaping. Degraded pastures have very compacted soils. The rain water has the tendency to leave these areas as torrential run-offs, we have all seen this along our lives. The watershed will be overloaded and the water quality will be worse. When a plantation is established on this type of degraded pastures, the soil compaction is broken, and the water infiltration is favored. The water walks down inside the soil, until finding the groundwater reservoir. Then, the water starts to walk as an underground stream. There is a moment that this water finds an exit from the soil: the water emerges, giving origin to a clean fountain, a water springs, a swamp or a natural lake. This water quality is typically drinking water. For this reason that we consider the groundwater as a source of controlled release of water to the brooks, rivers and lakes. The groundwater is filtered by the soil, it loses contaminants, such as sediments and agrochemicals. When the water springs up in the fountain, its quality is excellent. A wise engineering from mother Nature. For these reasons that we need to find mechanisms to promote the penetration of the rain water into the soil. In case this do not happen, the river flows will be high and turbulent during the rain season, and they may even disappear during the dry season. Another important disturbance caused by torrential run-offs is the shoaling and sand dunes/banks formation in the rivers because the pulled sediments. There are several ways to promote the penetration of water deeper into the soil: afforestation; protection of the mountain tops with vegetation; preservation and enrichment of riparian forests; reduction of the water run-offs by leveled terraces or tillage; creation of artificial ponds and dams to retain water; breaking the resistance of compacted soil layers, both at the surface or underground; increasing the soil surface roughness, etc. The mixed vegetation as herbs, shrubs, and trees help to raise the surface roughness, and this is favorable to the supply and penetration of water into the soil.

Key point number 13: Important components to guarantee the quality and the flow regulation in a hydrological system are the riparian forests, gallery forests or natural vegetation. Gallery forests (also identified as riparian forests) are the type of vegetation that is obliged to be kept preserved in the banks of rivers, lakes, streams, fountains, springs, swamps. The gallery forests preserve the biodiversity and protect the water streams. They provide asylum and shelter to the fauna, they are rich in flora species, and they are a combination of several natural richness. The gallery forests are also a protection to the slopes and hillsides, they filter the sediments pulled by the run-offs, they destroy the excess of agrochemicals coming in the direction to the rivers, they are really required to society. They also favor the hydrology of the water resources, by helping the infiltration of the rain water into the soil, and by controlling the release of water to the streams. Gallery forests are also rich on leaves. For this reason, they are able to transpire much water to the atmosphere, mainly due to the wet habitat they occupy. On the other hand, the benefits they bring, more than compensate this transpiration factor they have. Remember, we do not have only advantages or disadvantages in Nature. We always have a balance. And depends also from the viewpoint we are watching the ecosystem. We shall never place magnifying lens to the negative points, forgetting the positive ones. Neither should we place all attention to just one component of the eco-forest complex mosaic. They need to be watched as a rich group of actors comprising riparian zones, productive plantation forest areas, lakes, animals, and man. The importance of this complex and its interactions is vital.

Key point number 14: The evapotranspiration and the phenomenon of canopy interception are capable to give back to the atmosphere a percentage corresponding to 65 to 80% of the rain water. The remaining 20 to 35% are available to refill the groundwater, to run over the land surface and to feed the rivers. When rain is scarce, the amount of water lasting to refill the groundwater reservoirs and the rivers is small. For this reason, we must not plant productive eucalyptus forests in regions where the total rain precipitation in the year is below 800 mm. Doing this, we are preventing environmental impacts to the soil, to the water courses, and to the planted forests . In regions very scarce on rain along the year, we should only consider to plant eucalyptus forests for environmental measures (in special forestry management), as example for: soil erosion prevention, protection of sharp slope areas, natural conservation of ecosystems without economic objectives. The best cases to plant eucalyptus forests are regions with well-distributed rains along the year, with total rain being higher than 1,200 mm per year. Keeping these conditions as a rule, we are not to make mistakes, and the soil, groundwater, springs and rivers will have minimum impact in their flows and water quality.

Key point number 15: The water that is intercepted by the canopy (and also by the trunks) of the forests corresponds to 12 to 25% of the total annual rainfall. It is very common to observe in days with fine drizzling rain that all the water becomes retained in the plants. Nothing is able to fall to the soil. In a savanna, cerrado or pasture, this phenomenon is less pronounced. The short and open vegetation has a poor interception to the rain water. This is one of the main differences that allows the pastures and cerrados to have a lower "water consumption" than eucalyptus planted forests. Water interception by the canopy is also present in natural forests, sometimes even more intense due to the abundant herbs and shrubs layers in the forest understorey. Another point that may bring difference between pastures, cerrado, savanna and plantation forests in the water consumption is that photosynthetic activity is higher at the plantation. There are recent papers in the literature showing that because these two causes (canopy interception and photosynthetic activity) the reduction on available water to refill groundwater and to leave as stormwater run-offs corresponds to 150 to 250 mm of the annual precipitation. This value is known as "plantation effect". This represents a counterpart that the planted forests are using more than cerrados, savannas and pastures. Planted eucalyptus forests generate oxygen, sink carbon, reduce torrential run-offs, regulate the water flows in the rivers, prevent soil erosion, improve the water quality by "filtration", offer wood to Mankind; however, they have an "extra annual consumption" that is 150 to 250 mm higher than the pastures, cerrados or savannas areas. This is known, and these effects may be managed to be minimized, following some of the already mentioned measures in this mini-article. As an additional safety measure - a guarantee to prevent hydrological effects - it is recommended to plant eucalyptus productive forests in regions where the total rain fall along the year be at least or higher than 1,000 mm. In case the intention is to plant in regions where the annual precipitation is in the range from 800 to 1,000 mm, we suggest a careful and detailed environmental impact assessment study. This study will help a better evaluation, quantification of impacts, improvements on the decisions, and mitigation practices to prevent the potential negative consequences.

Key point number 16: Forest management and silvicultural practices, both at planting and harvesting the eucalyptus plantations may favor or may reduce the penetration of water into the soil, its infiltration, the refill of groundwater, and also surface streamflows. The quality of the catchment or micro-watershed may be dramatically affected when inappropriate techniques are used by the foresters. The adequate technical assistance to rural farmers is vital, when they receive incentive to plant eucalyptus forests in their lands. As newcomers, they may bring some ingenuity and lack of knowledge that may represent errors, impacting negatively in the quality of their forest stands and associated natural resources. Be aware of this.

Key point number 17: It is very important to understand and to know the differences and particular features for each type of vegetation, each soil class, each water regime, etc. We are plenty of knowledge to plant eucalyptus forests with minimum environmental impacts to soil and to waters. The previous planning to the eco-forest mosaic establishment may represent significant gains in environmental quality. We need to work our plans for production and conservation, at the same time. By evaluating different alternatives, we may minimize the negative impacts and to power the positive ones. Each situation has its own peculiarities, and they need proper and optimized plans for managing plantation forests and the associated ecosystems. Thus, there is demand for knowledge and commitments in the operation areas of the forest-based companies. No doubts about.

Key point number 18: The following wills are vital in the water management for eucalyptus plantation forests:
• we wish that the rain water infiltrates the soil to reach the groundwater, refilling it. This groundwater will later give origin to springs, fountains, streams, swamps, lakes and rivers;
• we wish to avoid water leaving our forest area in the form of turbulent and torrential run-offs, carrying soil richness;
• we wish that the real evapotranspiration be reduced to sound levels;
• we wish that soil, plants, and water be complements to each other, in a way that water will be available to plants, to soil, to the associated biology, to the springs, rivers, etc.

Key point number 19: There is a fantastic dynamism in the system comprising plant/soil/water. Thanks to science, commitment and good will it is possible to define healthier and sounder plans for managing eucalyptus plantation forests with the maximum eco-efficiency on the utilization of natural resources. These are the forest-based industry targets. Through continuous monitoring it is also possible to better understand the behavior of each component of the eco-forest mosaic: riparian forests, permanent preserved areas, natural ecosystems preserved as legal reserves, eucalyptus productive forests, water in soil, etc. There are many new techniques being used to favor the health of this complex mosaic: agro-ecological zoning, landscape planning, soil conservative management, segregation and distribution of eucalyptus and natural resources in the mosaic area, minimum tillage, leveled tillage and leveled planting, leveled terraces construction, mineral and organic fertilization, biological control of pests and diseases, road planning and construction to favor water retention and infiltration, preservation of forest residues at the forest site to enrich the soil surface with moisture and nutrients, catchment monitoring, etc. There is a bunch of associated sciences to allow the optimization of this complex system involving plant/soil/water. We may still be ingenuous in relation to all knowledge to be obtained with Nature. However, we are learning fast, and with good will. All these sciences are recent to us, a few decades of research. We are plenty of room for further improvements and optimizations.

Key point number 20: Good will, dialogue, determination, commitment and hardwork will allow the right balance in the eco-forest system. No doubts: the next decade eucalyptus planted forests will be better than the ones being planted today. We have a continuous improvement orientation. It is time to break this trend of continuous deterioration in the natural resources. The benefits will be divided between all: society receiving goods and services to the needs; environment protected and diversified. Each unity of this system playing its role and its part with wisdom and responsibility. Sure, we are still not so close to the ideal point, but we are determined to learn more and more. It is also combining the divergences that we may find better convergence. Eucalyptus planted forests are already a part of the Brazilian ecosystems. We need to continuously improve the forest productivity at the same time we need simultaneously improvements in the environmental health. Eucalyptus rusticity, productive ability, ability to interact with other ecosystems, and capacity to generously offer products to Mankind: these are points we need to value. After all, these trees offer their cells and their bodies to the benefit of society. It is already time to better understand this. To the eucalyptus we need to dedicate respect, justice and thanks. To those opposing them, we ask: patience and time for better scientific development, and help to build a better silviculture, a better forestry, and a better eco-forest system.

Eucalyptus Online Book & Newsletter are technical information texts written and made available free of charge to all people involved with the forestry and utilization of the eucalyptus. It depends only on registering yourself to receive them.
Technical coordination - Celso Foelkel
Webmaster / editing - Alessandra Foelkel
Celsius Degree: Phone (+55-51) 3338-4809
Copyright © 2005-2007

This knowledge oriented service was made possible through sponsoring support provided by ABTCP - Brazilian Technical Association of Pulp and Paper and by Botnia and Aracruz. The opinions expressed in the texts are those of the author or coming from the referenced technical literature. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors.

In case you prefer not to receive the Eucalyptus Newsletter and the Eucalyptus Online Book, send a cancellation e-mail message to

In case you want to support or to sponsor the Eucalyptus Online Book & Newsletter, having your logo or name associated with them, click here - to get more information

In case you want to register for receiving the next Eucalyptus Online Book chapters or the next issues of the Eucalyptus Newsletter, please click here and register by filling the requested boxes.