The Cerrado is the only savanna considered as one of the biodiversity hotspots. Due toits high land conversion and fragmentation rates, it is endangered. The few areas ofCerrado still preserved are also vulnerable to other processes such as the woodyencroachment, which is increasing the woody biomass in open savannas formations,primarily on its southeastern border. The loss of open-specialists diversity is the mainconsequence of this process. The small mammals are sensitive to environmental shifts,and are responsible for important ecological functions in the ecosystems (e.g. seeddispersal and predation, soil fertilization). The woody encroachment impacts on smallmammal diversity are unknown for the largest part of Cerrado, specially on its functionalperspective. In this project, divided in three chapters, we will assess the macro andmicrohabitat use and the woody encroachment impacts on the taxonomic (richness,abundance, and composition) and functional (richness, evenness, divergence, andredundancy) diversity of small mammals from São Paulo state Cerrado. Furthermore,we will evaluate the conservation status of southeastern Cerrado's populations basedon distribution patterns and historical data. We hope to contribute with informationabout the habitat use and the woody encroachment impacts on the taxonomic andfunctional diversity of small mammals, and supply conservation efforts for thesepopulations.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: