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Monitoring the effects of fire on the phenology and community structure of campos rupestres and Cerrado vegetation through remote sensing

Grant number: 14/12728-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2014
Effective date (End): November 29, 2018
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Geosciences - Physical Geography
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Thiago Sanna Freire Silva
Grantee:Swanni Tatiana Alvarado Romero
Host Institution: Instituto de Geociências e Ciências Exatas (IGCE). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):17/14236-7 - Patch morphological features as indicators of fire regimes: a comparison of tropical savannas in Africa and South America through remote sensing, BE.EP.PD   16/00879-0 - Comparison of fire regime on tropical savannas: temporal and spatial patterns of fire occurrence through remote sensing, BE.EP.PD


The Brazilian Cerrado is one of the largest centers of biodiversity in South America. Fire, topography, geomorphology, moisture and soil nutrient availability are among the key factors that determine the structural conditions of the Cerrado vegetation. Fire is a natural disturbance that determines the physiognomy and the structure of vegetation, and influences the diversity in Cerrado. Current climate change is expected to increase the global temperature and in consequences to increase the risk of fire, as well as its intensity and frequency. Further, the current anthropogenic pressure result in an increase of fires currently occurring annually or biannually burning both the herbaceous layer and part of the woody layer. Thus, this complex vegetation has faced dramatic changes in land use and is threatened by human activities and climate change. Human induced fire is one of the most significant threats to the Cerrado and studies about fire and its impact on plants in this ecosystem are very important to understand plant dynamic and to predict the trajectory of plant communities after this disturbance. The proposed research has as its main the characterization of the effects of fire occurrence and fire frequency on Cerrado and campos rupestres physiognomies in the Parque Nacional da Serra do Cipó (MG), and Área de Proteção Ambiental Morro da Pedreira (MG), combining remote sensing methods and in situ analysis of plant diversity and structure. This study will be based on an extensive series of remote sensing data, freely available for the proposed study area. Time series of Landsat 5 TM, Landsat 7 ETM and Landsat 8 OLI sensors will be used to produce maps of fire frequency and time since the last fire for the period between 1984 and 2014. Images from MODIS sensors also will be used to study the plant dynamic, evaluated by the monitoring of the rate of recovery of vegetation after fire. The phenological patterns will be derived from the time series of NDVI data using the TIMESAT algorithm, which was developed specifically to characterize phenological trends from remote sensing imagery. Aditionally, according to the final maps of fire frequencies and the time since the last fire, some sites will be chose to evaluate the structure and composition of plant communities of Cerrado and campos rupestres. Understanding plant community responses to fire is essential to predict vegetation recovery dynamics, guide management practices, and evaluate restoration strategies in fire-prone landscapes. The results of the above objectives will provide an important basis for the ecological restoration of herbaceous and woody communities, and can be applied to increase the resilience and accelerate the recovery of vegetation degraded by frequent fires. (AU)

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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)
BUISSON, ELISE; ALVARADO, SWANNI T.; LE STRADIC, SOIZIG; MORELLATO, LEONOR PATRICIA C.. Plant phenological research enhances ecological restoration. RESTORATION ECOLOGY, v. 25, n. 2, p. 164-171, . (10/52113-5, 14/12728-1, 13/50155-0, 10/51307-0)
ALVARADO, SWANNI T.; FREIRE SILVA, THIAGO SANNA; ARCHIBALD, SALLY. Management impacts on fire occurrence: A comparison of fire regimes of African and South American tropical savannas in different protected areas. Journal of Environmental Management, v. 218, p. 79-87, . (14/12728-1, 16/00879-0, 13/50155-0)
BUISSON, ELISE; LE STRADIC, SOIZIG; SILVEIRA, FERNANDO A. O.; DURIGAN, GISELDA; OVERBECK, GERHARD E.; FIDELIS, ALESSANDRA; WILSON FERNANDES, G.; BOND, WILLIAM J.; HERMANN, JULIA-MARIA; MAHY, GREGORY; et al. Resilience and restoration of tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and grassy woodlands. BIOLOGICAL REVIEWS, v. 94, n. 2, p. 590-609, . (16/13232-5, 18/03755-6, 17/14236-7, 15/06743-0, 14/12728-1)
ALVARADO, SWANNI T.; ANDELA, NIELS; SILVA, THIAGO S. F.; ARCHIBALD, SALLY. Thresholds of fire response to moisture and fuel load differ between tropical savannas and grasslands across continents. GLOBAL ECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY, v. 29, n. 2, . (14/12728-1, 16/00879-0)
ALVARADO, SWANNI T.; FORNAZARI, TAMIRES; COSTOLA, ANDRESA; CERDEIRA MORELLATO, LEONOR PATRICIA; FREIRE SILVA, THIAGO SANNA. Drivers of fire occurrence in a mountainous Brazilian cerrado savanna: Tracking long-term fire regimes using remote sensing. ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS, v. 78, p. 270-281, . (14/12728-1, 13/50155-0)

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