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Trophic ecology of rodents in anthropic environments through stable isotope methodology

Grant number: 15/25502-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): March 16, 2016
Effective date (End): April 19, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal Investigator:Luciano Martins Verdade
Grantee:Thiago Simon Marques
Supervisor: Stuart Bearhop
Host Institution: Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Exeter, Penryn, England  
Associated to the scholarship:13/11032-0 - Trophic ecology of mammals in anthropic environments through the stable isotopes methodology, BP.PD


The alteration of natural habitats is a process that has been occurring mainly due to the expansion of human activities. This process provided the conversion of native vegetation in agricultural ecosystems. Forestry plantations have been expanding in the last decades for economic reasons and the new elements in the landscape composition can influence the dynamics of animal populations. In this context, rodents are suitable model for the study of anthropic influences on wildlife populations and the mechanisms that allow the survival of these animals in silvicultural landscape. It's able to respond quickly to environmental changes, due to its high reproductive capacity and short life cycle. However, information about the diet of rodents is scarce due to their efficient food mastication, which results in small fragments, which are difficult to identify. The application of stable isotope analysis can be a great alternative in diet reconstruction studies of rodents. In this sense, this project aims to carry out a research internship at the Centre for Ecology and Conservation of the University of Exeter (England) with professor Stuart Bearhop and his research group to apply the new isotope mixing models (MIXSIAR) in data of rodents. Isotope mixing models will be used to elucidate the diet of rodent species in silvicultural landscape. The data will be compared between the studied species and within species in relation to sex and occupied environments.

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