Invasive species are those that occur beyond their natural distribution range, spontaneously expanding themselves in the invaded places. During the colonization they outcompete similar native species enhancing biodiversity loss and shifting ecosystem's functions. Despite the high grass diversity of Cerrado, the conversion of native vegetation to cultivated pastures for cattle grazing is common. Melinis minutiflora and Urochloa decumbens are african grasses used to this purpose that became aggressive invaders because their high biological efficiency, being a major threat to the conservation of Cerrado's grasslands and savannas. Fire is recurrent in the history of these habitats and represents a promising management tool for invader's control due its low operational costs and large scale applicability. This project has been conducted since 2013 at the municipality of Itirapina, São Paulo. The study investigates the effects of prescribed burnings at different times on invader's control. We aim contributing to the development of invasion's management techniques and furthermore to the Cerrado's ecological restoration and biodiversity conservation.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: