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The role of ecological restoration in the rescue of floristic and functional diversity and improving the structure of the regional landscape of Atlantic Forest

Grant number: 12/24118-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2014
Effective date (End): December 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal Investigator:Ricardo Ribeiro Rodrigues
Grantee:Debora Cristina Rother
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil


Species interactions, functional traits diversity and landscape structure are important attributes to the vegetation functionality. However, the degradation history of Atlantic Forest has seriously threatened the biodiversity conservation and the functionality of its ecosystems. To mitigate the negative impacts of environmental degradation, ecological restoration actions have been frequently applied in the fragmented landscapes. Nevertheless, restoration actions are economically costly giving this practice the need of successful results. Despite its importance, there is limited information on the ecological restoration in ecosystem scale. Additionally, there are no studies addressing the possibility of biological fluxes between natural and restored areas. The proposal of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of areas undergoing restoration in rescuing the floristic and functional diversity; and improving the structure of the regional landscape in the Atlantic Forest. In order to effectively contribute to the science of restoration ecology, will be applied an approach that combines biological data with landscape metrics. Considering the dominant landscape in the countryside of São Paulo State that is inserted into an agricultural matrix, this new approach will be developed in the regions of Morro Agudo and Araras. In each region three sampling units contained at least a remnant and an area undergoing restoration will be sorted. Diversity of shrub and tree, and functional group (regeneration, pollination, dispersion and fauna dependence to seed dispersal) will be evaluated in five permanent plots of 25 x 4 m installed in each remnant and undergoing restoration area. In the areas undergoing restoration the regeneration diversity will also be recorded and compared with the taxonomic and functional diversity of remnants to evaluate the possible biological fluxes between natural and restored areas. Then, will be analyzed structure and configuration of the landscapes using metrics. In this approach will be identified the failures and successes of restoration actions, as well as will be proposed effective strategies for conservation of highly fragmented landscapes by agriculture. Moreover, this project proposes the consolidation of plant functional ecology in fragmented landscapes as a research area within restoration ecology. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(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)
ROTHER, DEBORA CRISTINA; LIBONI, ANA PAULA; SILVA MAGNAGO, LUIZ FERNANDO; CHAO, ANNE; CHAZDON, ROBIN L.; RODRIGUES, RICARDO RIBEIRO. Ecological restoration increases conservation of taxonomic and functional beta diversity of woody plants in a tropical fragmented landscape. FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT, v. 451, . (13/50718-5, 12/24118-8)
DÉBORA CRISTINA ROTHER; PAULA PONTELI COSTA; THAÍS DINIZ SILVA; KARINNE SAMPAIO VALDEMARIN; RICARDO RIBEIRO RODRIGUES. How bamboo influences the seed bank and biotic and abiotic factors of a Brazilian tropical forest. Acta Botanica Brasilica, v. 35, n. 2, p. 179-187, . (12/24118-8, 13/50718-5)
ROTHER, DEBORA C.; SOUSA, IGOR L. F.; GRESSLER, ELIANA; LIBONI, ANA P.; SOUZA, VINICIUS C.; RODRIGUES, RICARDO R.; MORELLATO, L. PATRICIA. Comparing the potential reproductive phenology between restored areas and native tropical forest fragments in Southeastern Brazil. RESTORATION ECOLOGY, . (13/50718-5, 12/24118-8, 09/54208-6, 13/50155-0)

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