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Montane forests and high altitude grasslands in Serra do Mar and Itatiaia national park during the middle Holocene: paleoecological, paleoclimatical and biogeographical implications

Grant number: 18/09947-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2018
Effective date (End): June 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany - Paleobotany
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal researcher:Paulo Eduardo de Oliveira
Grantee:Maicon Alicrin da Silva
Home Institution: Instituto de Geociências (IGC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/50683-2 - Vulnerability of populations under extreme scenarios, AP.PFPMCG.TEM

Abstract

The main objective of this study is to test hypotheses of paleovegetational, paleoclimatic and paleoecological interest. The basic premise assumes that during the Middle Holocene, Brazil underwent major environmental changes that caused reconfiguration of several ecosystems. This period is marked by great variation in the relative global sea level, with isotopic oxygen ratios in speleothems suggesting a climate drier than the present. Studies based on palynology and carbon isotopes of soil organic matter have inferred less humid climate in most regions of the Atlantic Forest ecosystem. The central hypothesis of this research is to test the hypothesis if montane forest taxa of the Southeast of Brazil migrated to higher elevations of the Atlantic Forest region and maintained microrefuges located above 1000 m of elevation in response to the increase of ambient temperatures during the Middle Holocene. The test of this hypothesis will be done through palynological, isotopical and geochemical analyses in sediments dated to the period of interest in two locations with different altitudes, such as the Serra do Mar State Park, Curucutu Nucleus (SP), 1000 meters elevation and in the altitude grasslands of the Itatiaia National Park (MG), 2300 meters elevation. The justification and impact generated by this study are directly related to the hypothesis that there was migration of montane forests to higher elevations during the warming trend of the Middle Holocene, being considered analogue of the present global warming, being a base study to define priority areas for conservation.

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