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Neotropical butterflies: an integrative approach to explain biogeographic patterns

Grant number: 21/07494-5
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2021
Effective date (End): June 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal researcher:André Victor Lucci Freitas
Grantee:Patrícia Eyng Gueratto
Supervisor abroad: Marianne Elias
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, France  
Associated to the scholarship:18/19171-3 - Butterflies of the Atlantic Forest: a historical perspective on biogeographic patterns, BP.DR


This project is part of the doctoral thesis entitled "Butterflies of the Atlantic Forest: a historical perspective on biogeographic patterns", which main objective is to integrate ecology and historical biogeography to understand the processes that shape the distribution of diversity in the Neotropics. The availability of robust and dated phylogenies for many taxa opened a window for the understanding of species distribution patterns and allowed the integration between those two disciplines. Phylogeny can inform models of evolutionary and biogeographic histories that underlie present-day diversity gradients and make possible to infer mechanisms that enable species to coexist. At this way, the main proposal of the Research Internship Abroad is to carry out analyzes assessing the phylogenetic structure of neotropical communities, using butterflies of the genus Actinote as study model. The group comprises 38 described species, and most of them are distributed in the Atlantic Forest and the northern Andean region. Specifically, this project aims: I. To compare the pattern of species richness distribution with the distribution of the phylogenetic diversity, II. Analyze phylobetadiversity between areas, III. Investigate the phylogenetic distribution of coexisting species. Ecological niche modelling and phylogenetic trees will be used to investigate the processes that affect the distribution of Actinote and to obtain the areas of greater diversity, inferring the mechanisms that shape the current diversity distribution. The results will make possible to understand how historical events such as speciation and dispersion shape contemporary patterns of diversity and it will allow the understanding of the mechanisms of species coexistence in one of the most biodiverse area in the world. (AU)

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