Print version ISSN 0100-6916
MINGOTI, Rafael and VETTORAZZI, Carlos A. Relative reduction in annual soil loss in micro watersheds due to the relief and forest cover. Eng. Agríc. [online]. 2011, vol.31, n.6, pp.1202-1211. ISSN 0100-6916. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-69162011000600017.
With the intense debate, in Brazil, between landowners and public agencies about the amount of area with forest cover needed in different regions, there is an increase of the need for provision of technical data used as a basis for decision making. One of the criteria to evaluate the effect of forest cover in protecting water resources is the soil loss, which leads to several consequences on the environment, including the silting of the rivers. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the reduction in the soil loss in micro watersheds with different reliefs, size and location of forest cover, in the Corumbataí River watershed, in the state of São Paulo, using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) in a GIS environment. For this study, 18 watersheds in three degrees of slope were selected, and 20 scenarios for land-use were established, by analyzing the influence of the PPA size, and the size and the location of the Legal Reserve. The results showed that: a) the effect of forest cover in reducing annual soil loss varies depending on the average slope of the watershed; b) the PPA width must be determined taking into account the slope of the watershed; c) the Legal Reserve must be located along the PPA. These provide better results in reducing annual soil loss.
Keywords : GIS; RUSLE; legal reserve; permanent preservation area.