Many studies suggest that the majority of species occurring in typical savanna exhibit leaf morphological and functional traits to tolerate the high irradiances present in this system. In this way, when vegetation becomes denser such species would disappear. This study aims to analyze the morphological and functional traits in typical Cerrado species and even in species that survive under areas that have undergone encroachment in the Assis Ecological Station - SP. Foliar traits related to adaptation to the luminous environment will be analyzed (leaf area, leaf size and specific leaf weight), and physiological responses (chlorophylls and carotenoids content and maximum photosynthesis rates). We expect to find smaller and more scleromorphic leaves, with elevated levels of chlorophyll and carotenoids, with high photosynthetic rates in high-light environments (typical Cerrado). In contrast, in shaded environments the species will have larger leaves, higher chlorophyll b content and lower photosynthetic rates. These different strategies will indicate why typical Cerrado species disappear in environments that have undergone encroachment.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: