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Hydraulic traits of invasive species: towards a mechanistic understanding of biological invasions in a Cerrado restoration area

Grant number: 19/24619-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2020
Effective date (End): December 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal Investigator:Rafael Silva Oliveira
Grantee:Mateus Cardoso Silva
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:19/07773-1 - Restoring neo-tropical dry ecosystems - is plant functional composition the key to success?, AP.TEM


Ecological restoration in the Cerrado is a conservation priority as vegetation in this domain harbors unique biodiversity and provides substantial ecosystem services. Biological invasion is one of greatest challenges to successful restoration as invasive species often overcompete natives, changing community diversity, structure and function. The mechanisms underpinning invasion success are still not clear but theory predicts high invasive success when they have distinct traits than natives in order to avoid competition. Here we aim to test this hypothesis in a Cerrado restoration area. Specifically, we aim to test whether invasive species are different from natives using key functional traits, such as root depth, water-use efficiency and minimum water potentials. The study will be carried out in a restoration experiment in Chapada do Veadeiros National Park, a large protected area of Cerrado. We select the African grass Brachiaria decumbens as an invasive species model due to their high local abundance and widespread distribution in Brazil. The proposal will advance our knowledge regarding the mechanisms associated with invasiveness and thus to the biological invasion itself. This knowledge can support decisions about species selection in Cerrado restoration projects to increase the resistance of restored communities to biological invasion. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(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)
SILVA, MATEUS CARDOSO; GUIMARAES, ARETHA FRANKLIN; TEODORO, GRAZIELLE SALES; BASTOS, SARA SOUZA; DE CASTRO, EVARISTO MAURO; VAN DEN BERG, EDUARDO. The enemy within: the effects of mistletoe parasitism on infected and uninfected host branches. PLANT ECOLOGY, v. 222, n. 5, . (19/24619-6)
SILVA, MATEUS CARDOSO; LOPES MELO, FELIPE PIMENTEL; VAN DEN BERG, EDUARDO. Changes in tree size, not species diversity, underlie the low above-ground biomass in natural forest edges. JOURNAL OF VEGETATION SCIENCE, v. 32, n. 2, . (19/24619-6)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
SILVA, Mateus Cardoso. Using plant traits to assess restoration outcomes in a tropical grassland. 2021. Master's Dissertation - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Biologia Campinas, SP.

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