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Phenological responses of woody plants to climate change: a comparative analysis across the Neotropics

Grant number: 12/21601-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2013
Effective date (End): March 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems Ecology
Principal researcher:Leonor Patricia Cerdeira Morellato
Grantee:Irene Mendoza Sagrera
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):13/21968-3 - Climatic correlates of fruiting seasonality across the Neotropics, BE.EP.PD


Phenology is the study of the timing of life-cycle events of organisms, such as the maturation of fruit crops or emergence of insects, and its relation with biotic and abiotic factors. The timing of plant activity is very sensitive to climatic variability, so phenological shifts serve as early indicators of climate change. The high variability of phenological responses among species renders difficult to extract general trends of phenological change in the tropics. The objective of this project is to understand the climatic cues that trigger phenology in the Neotropics over broad latitudinal and temporal scales. This knowledge will allow the forecasting of species' phenological responses to ongoing climate change. In the first part of the project, I will take benefit of more than 100 datasets of fruiting phenology collected across the Neotropics with different vegetation types, combining published and unpublished data. This part will be focused on the spatial variation of the correlation between fruiting seasonality and climate. The consequences of changes in fruiting seasonality for vertebrates that depend on fruits will also be highlighted. In the second part, I will use long-term monitoring datasets for making predictions of phenological change over time and the influence of inter-annual climatic events such El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The influence of ENSO events and the forecasting of phenological responses in the future will be analyzed using hierarchical Bayesian models, including a range of future climate scenarios under plausible general circulation models (GCMs). The results of this project will have relevant applications for forest management, as they will show the differences in sensitiveness to climate among species and types of vegetation. The prediction of changes in the availability of resources is also important for the conservation planning of frugivorous animals consuming fruits.

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Scientific publications (5)
(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)
ABERNETHY, KATHARINE; BUSH, EMMA R.; FORGET, PIERRE-MICHEL; MENDOZA, IRENE; MORELLATO, LEONOR PATRICIA C. Current issues in tropical phenology: a synthesis. Biotropica, v. 50, n. 3, p. 477-482, MAY 2018. Web of Science Citations: 11.
CERDEIRA MORELLATO, LEONOR PATRICIA; ABERNETHY, KATHARINE; MENDOZA, IRENE. Rethinking tropical phenology: insights from long-term monitoring and novel analytical methods. Biotropica, v. 50, n. 3, p. 371-373, MAY 2018. Web of Science Citations: 3.
MENDOZA, IRENE; CONDIT, RICHARD S.; WRIGHT, S. JOSEPH; CAUBERE, ADELINE; CHATELET, PATRICK; HARDY, ISABELLE; FORGET, PIERRE-MICHEL. Inter-annual variability of fruit timing and quantity at Nouragues (French Guiana): insights from hierarchical Bayesian analyses. Biotropica, v. 50, n. 3, p. 431-441, MAY 2018. Web of Science Citations: 3.
MENDOZA, IRENE; PERES, CARLOS A.; MORELLATO, LEONOR PATRICIA C. Continental-scale patterns and climatic drivers of fruiting phenology: A quantitative Neotropical review. GLOBAL AND PLANETARY CHANGE, v. 148, p. 227-241, JAN 2017. Web of Science Citations: 30.
LAMARRE, G. P. A.; MENDOZA, I.; ROUGERIE, R.; DECAENS, T.; HERAULT, B.; BENELUZ, F. Stay Out (Almost) All Night: Contrasting Responses in Flight Activity Among Tropical Moth Assemblages. Neotropical Entomology, v. 44, n. 2, p. 109-115, APR 2015. Web of Science Citations: 11.

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