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Landscape structure as a predictor of taxonomic and functional diversity of amphibians in the Atlantic Forest

Grant number: 22/01899-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2022
Effective date (End): February 29, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Theoretical Ecology
Principal Investigator:Milton Cezar Ribeiro
Grantee:Maurício Humberto Vancine
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil


Landscape modifications (habitat loss and fragmentation) are identified as one of the main causes of biodiversity loss worldwide. Amphibians are one of the taxonomic groups most sensitive to these changes due to their particular morphological, physiological and ecological characteristics. The Atlantic Forest stands out as one of the regions in the world most affected by changes in landscapes, but which still has great diversity and endemism of species, especially amphibians. In this project, we intend to answer: 1) how the structure of landscapes is configured throughout the Atlantic Forest Biome, 2) how the structure of the landscape affects the taxonomic and functional diversity of species in general, and 3) analyze this same question of species-specific mode, in addition to analyzing co-occurrences. We will test the hypotheses that: 1) the structure of the Atlantic Forest landscapes are highly altered, 2) the disconnection between the forest and aquatic habitat - split habitat - will be the main explanatory factor of the taxonomic and functional diversity of the species in general. , 3) and similarly when we analyze species-specific responses, since there must be greater co-occurrence of species in less conserved landscapes. Data analysis will be carried out through the calculation of landscape metrics and different modeling techniques of Community Ecology and Species Distribution to understand the patterns and responses of the amphibian group mainly to the landscape structure and human disturbances. The results of this project can help to understand the changes in the landscape on the species of this group, as well as the functioning of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and their interface, as well as efforts for the conservation of amphibians at different spatial scales.

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