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The impact of insular geographic isolation and different environmental conditions on the variation of functional traits of Epidendrum fulgens (Orchidaceae) distributed along the coast and Ilha de Alcatrazes (SP)

Grant number: 22/07784-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2022
Effective date (End): August 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Juliana Lischka Sampaio Mayer
Grantee:Giovana Narezi Trotta
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Traits that promote the organisms' survival are selected and maintained in the population, so the accumulation of these distinctions can lead to lineage divergence and speciation. Species with continental and insular distribution, which inhabit places with different conditions, are subject to divergent selective pressures. Thus, considering the morphological diversity and variability of the occupied habitats by the family Orchidaceae, it is subject to the previously mentioned processes. Epidendrum fulgens (Orchidaceae) have continental and insular representatives, making it an excellent model for studying diversification processes and the effects of geographical isolation. In this project, we want to analyze the impact of insular geographic isolation and of different environmental conditions in the variation of functional traits of E. fulgens. Therefore, our objectives are 1) to examine functional traits of insular and continental populations of E. fulgens, in order to verify if the potential differences may be associated with the distinct environments of the island and the continent; and 2) to check for the occurrence of the island rule, which predicts different sizes for individuals that inhabit the island in relation to those on the continent. Through this study, it will be possible to elucidate some of the mechanisms at work in current speciation processes, analyzing the factors that contribute to the generation of the diversity found in naturally fragmented environments, such as marine islands. Through this understanding, tools can be created for conservation and restoration practices, which are essential for the current context of climate change and anthropic activities, whose impact is significant in rich regions such as the neotropics. (AU)

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