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Impacts of the expansion of the sugarcane agroindustry on freshwater communities

Abstract

The dawn of a new paradigm in energy supply - biofuels - points to the continued expansion of agriculture in Brazil in the near future. The country is in an exceptionally favorable position to assume the global leadership in biofuel production for possessing both ideal geographic and environmental conditions and the already most efficient ethanol industry worldwide. Not surprisingly however, agriculture involves both benefits and costs to the society, In particular, industrial agriculture is one of the most environmentally harmful human activities, being directly involved in native habitat destruction and in the contamination of water resources through the employment of fertilizers and pesticides. It is unacceptable that Brazil, entering the XXI century with the largest share of the world's biodiversity and the largest extensions of native tropical habitats, and with adequate technical and scientific human resources, misses the historical chance to assume, in addition, a model role in reconciling economic growth with environmental preservation. This project proposes to test the hypothesis that the expansion of sugarcane has substantial impacts on freshwater communities, and that a significant part of these impacts can be directly or indirectly attributed to the employment of agrochemicals. More than documenting impacts, it proposes to understand the mechanisms through which these impacts are generated- urgently needed as a basis for effective and efficient problem management. This project proposes in addition to validate, for tropical systems, research methodologies employed in ecological and ecotoxicological studies in temperate systems, as well as to establish the foundations for the development of a bioindication concept for the contamination of water bodies by agrochemicals. These hypotheses will be tested in a broad research programme involving sampling and experimentation in laboratory, mesocosms and field. Sampling surveys of temporary pond communities _ including algae, tadpoles and predatory insects - across a gradient of environmental degradation (cerrado forest and grasslands < pasture < sugarcane plantations) will reveal patterns of association among land use, environmental physico-chemical properties, and community composition and structure. In turn, experiments will test the importance of agrochemicals in generating the observed patterns. Through studies conducted in multiple experimental scenarios, we aim at generating a line of extrapolation from lab to field, and lo establish clear cause-and-effect relationships between hypothesized processes and observed impacts. Knowledge derived from this project will be important in the development of better agroindustrial practices, towards sustainability in biofuel production and a larger acceptance of Brazilian biofuels in international markets. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa FAPESP Magazine about the research grant:
The advance of stagnant water 
El avance de las aguas estancadas 
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Scientific publications (15)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
SCHIESARI, LUIS; WAICHMAN, ANDREA; BROCK, THEO; ADAMS, CRISTINA; GRILLITSCH, BRITTA. Pesticide use and biodiversity conservation in the Amazonian agricultural frontier. PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, v. 368, n. 1619, SI, . (08/57939-9)
DENISE DE CERQUEIRA ROSSA-FERES; RICARDO JANNINI SAWAYA; JULIÁN FAIVOVICH; JOÃO GABRIEL RIBEIRO GIOVANELLI; CINTHIA AGUIRRE BRASILEIRO; LUIS SCHIESARI; JOÃO ALEXANDRINO; CÉLIO FERNANDO BAPTISTA HADDAD. Anfíbios do Estado de São Paulo, Brasil: conhecimento atual e perspectivas. Biota Neotropica, v. 11, p. 47-66, . (01/13341-3, 05/52727-5, 04/04820-3, 08/50928-1, 08/57939-9)
DAAM, MICHIEL A.; ILHA, PAULO; SCHIESARI, LUIS. Acute toxicity of inorganic nitrogen (ammonium, nitrate and nitrite) to tadpoles of five tropical amphibian species. ECOTOXICOLOGY, v. 29, n. 9, . (15/18790-3, 08/57939-9)
SCHIESARI, LUIS; CORREA, DECIO T.. Consequences of agroindustrial sugarcane production to freshwater biodiversity. Global Change Biology Bioenergy, v. 8, n. 3, p. 644-657, . (08/57939-9, 10/52321-7)
BELLEZI, LARISSA; ILHA, PAULO; SCHIESARI, LUIS. Ontogenetic Variation in the Sensitivity of the Gladiator Frog, Hypsiboas faber, to Inorganic Nitrogen. Copeia, v. 103, n. 1, p. 14-21, . (08/57939-9)
ILHA, PAULO; SCHIESARI, LUIS; YANAGAWA, I, FERNANDO; JANKOWSKI, KATHIJO; NAVAS, CARLOS A.. Deforestation and stream warming affect body size of Amazonian fishes. PLoS One, v. 13, n. 5, . (08/57939-9, 11/20458-6)
SCHIESARI, LUIS; ILHA, PAULO R.; BETIN NEGRI, DANIEL DIN; PRADO, PAULO INACIO; GRILLITSCH, BRITTA. Ponds, puddles, floodplains and dams in the Upper Xingu Basin: could we be witnessing the `lentification' of deforested Amazonia?. PERSPECTIVES IN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION, v. 18, n. 2, p. 61-72, . (08/57939-9, 11/20458-6, 10/52321-7)
DAAM, MICHIEL A.; MOUTINHO, MARIANA F.; ESPINDOLA, EVALDO L. G.; SCHIESARI, LUIS. Lethal toxicity of the herbicides acetochlor, ametryn, glyphosate and metribuzin to tropical frog larvae. ECOTOXICOLOGY, v. 28, n. 6, p. 707-715, . (08/57939-9, 11/05280-6, 15/18790-3)
SANTANA, ERIKA; SCHIESARI, LUIS; GOMES, FERNANDO; MARTINS, MARCIO. Morphophysiological traits of an amphibian exposed to historical industrial pollution in a Brazilian biodiversity hotspot. Amphibia-Reptilia, v. 42, n. 3, p. 283-295, . (08/57939-9, 18/14091-1, 14/16320-7)
PEACOR, SCOTT D.; PANGLE, KEVIN L.; SCHIESARI, LUIS; WERNER, EARL E.. Scaling-up anti-predator phenotypic responses of prey: impacts over multiple generations in a complex aquatic community. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, v. 279, n. 1726, p. 122-128, . (08/57939-9)
SCHIESARI, LUIS; GRILLITSCH, BRITTA. Pesticides meet megadiversity in the expansion of biofuel crops. FRONTIERS IN ECOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, v. 9, n. 4, p. 215-221, . (08/57939-9)
SCHIESARI, LUIS; LEIBOLD, MATHEW A.; BURTON, JR., G. ALLEN. Metacommunities, metaecosystems and the environmental fate of chemical contaminants. JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECOLOGY, v. 55, n. 3, p. 1553-1563, . (15/18790-3, 08/57939-9)
SCHIESARI, LUIS; MONTEIRO, ARTUR SGAMBATTI; ILHA, PAULO; POPE, NATHANIEL; CORREA, DECIO TADEU. The ecology of a system of natural mesocosms: Rock pools in the Atlantic Forest. Freshwater Biology, v. 63, n. 9, p. 1077-1087, . (08/57939-9, 15/18790-3)
MOUTINHO, MARIANA F.; DE ALMEIDA, EDUARDO A.; ESPINDOLA, EVALDO L. G.; DAAM, MICHIEL A.; SCHIESARI, LUIS. Herbicides employed in sugarcane plantations have lethal and sublethal effects to larval Boana pardalis (Amphibia, Hylidae). ECOTOXICOLOGY, v. 29, n. 7, p. 1043-1051, . (11/05280-6, 15/18790-3, 08/57939-9)

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